• Senior military and civilian leaders gather to cut the ribbon at the dedication ceremony for Seitz Elementary School, Sept. 14, 2012, on Fort Riley, Kan.  Honored guests cutting the ribbon were, from left, Mike Steiner, managing director, Picerne Military Housing; Brig. Gen. Donald MacWillie, senior commander, Fort Riley; Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback; Jawheim Flournoy, kindergartener at Seitz Elementary School; retired Lt. Gen. Richard Seitz; Alyssa Thompson, kindergartener at Seitz Elementary School; U.S Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.); Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal; and Ronald Walker, superintendent, Unified School District 475 Geary County Schools.

    Army committed to national academic excellence

    Senior military and civilian leaders gather to cut the ribbon at the dedication ceremony for Seitz Elementary School, Sept. 14, 2012, on Fort Riley, Kan. Honored guests cutting the ribbon were, from left, Mike Steiner, managing director, Picerne...

  • Senior military and civilian leaders gather to cut the ribbon at the dedication ceremony for Seitz Elementary School, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan.  Honored guests cutting the ribbon were, from left, Mike Steiner, managing director, Picerne Military Housing; Brig. Gen. Donald MacWillie, senior commander, Fort Riley; Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback; Jawheim Flournoy, kindergartener at Seitz Elementary School; retired Lt. Gen. Richard Seitz; Alyssa Thompson, kindergartener at Seitz Elementary School; U.S Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS); Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal; and Ronald Walker, superintendent, Unified School District 475 Geary County Schools.

    Army committed to national academic excellence

    Senior military and civilian leaders gather to cut the ribbon at the dedication ceremony for Seitz Elementary School, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan. Honored guests cutting the ribbon were, from left, Mike Steiner, managing director, Picerne Military...

  • Col. Ben Solum, chief of staff of 1st Infantry Division, listens to Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal discussing the Army's commitment to education at the dedication ceremony for Seitz Elementary School, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan. Westphal's remarks reinforced the Army's enduring promise to provide quality education and resources to the children of Soldiers, and the dedication of all U.S. teachers/educators to national academic excellence.

    Army committed to national academic excellence

    Col. Ben Solum, chief of staff of 1st Infantry Division, listens to Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal discussing the Army's commitment to education at the dedication ceremony for Seitz Elementary School, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan...

  • Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal discusses the Army's commitment to education at the dedication ceremony for Seitz Elementary School, Sept. 14, 2012, at Fort Riley, Kan. Westphal's remarks reinforced the Army's enduring promise to provide quality education and resources to the children of Soldiers, and the dedication of all U.S. teachers/educators to national academic excellence.

    Army committed to national academic excellence

    Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal discusses the Army's commitment to education at the dedication ceremony for Seitz Elementary School, Sept. 14, 2012, at Fort Riley, Kan. Westphal's remarks reinforced the Army's enduring promise to provide...

  • Sgt. Michael Ratai, 1st HBCT, 1st Infantry Division, observe the ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of Seitz Elementary School, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan.  Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal provided remarks at the ceremony and reinforced the Army's commitment to education initiatives that promote national academic excellence.

    Army committed to national academic excellence

    Sgt. Michael Ratai, 1st HBCT, 1st Infantry Division, observe the ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of Seitz Elementary School, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan. Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal provided remarks at the ceremony and...

  • Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal meets with students at Seitz Elementary School, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan. Over 670 students attend the school, which incorporates innovative learning techniques, state-of-the-art technology and energy efficient measures to promote national academic excellence.

    Army committed to national academic excellence

    Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal meets with students at Seitz Elementary School, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan. Over 670 students attend the school, which incorporates innovative learning techniques, state-of-the-art technology and...

  • Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal visits the Warrior Zone with Brig. Gen. Donald MacWillie, Fort Riley Senior Commander, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan. The Warrior Zone has been open since Feb. 7, 2010, for Soldiers use and entertainment. With more than 4,000 square feet of space, the facility is equipped with wireless Internet access, gaming computers, poker and pool tables, a home theater, plasma screen TVs and food.

    Army committed to national academic excellence

    Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal visits the Warrior Zone with Brig. Gen. Donald MacWillie, Fort Riley Senior Commander, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan. The Warrior Zone has been open since Feb. 7, 2010, for Soldiers use and...

  • Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal visits the Warrior Zone with Brig. Gen. Donald MacWillie, Fort Riley Senior Commander, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan. The Warrior Zone has been open since Feb. 7, 2010, for Soldiers use and entertainment. With more than 4,000 square feet of space, the facility is equipped with wireless Internet access, gaming computers, poker and pool tables, a home theater, plasma screen TVs and food.

    Army committed to national academic excellence

    Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal visits the Warrior Zone with Brig. Gen. Donald MacWillie, Fort Riley Senior Commander, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan. The Warrior Zone has been open since Feb. 7, 2010, for Soldiers use and...

  • Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal visits the construction site of a new hospital being built on Fort Riley, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan. The new hospital will accommodate Fort Riley's increasing healthcare needs for the next 40 to 50 years and will employ over 300 additional healthcare professionals to ensure a superior level of patient care. Along with the new hospital a Warrior Transition Complex, a primary care clinic and a traumatic brain injury clinic are being built on Fort Riley.

    Army committed to national academic excellence

    Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal visits the construction site of a new hospital being built on Fort Riley, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan. The new hospital will accommodate Fort Riley's increasing healthcare needs for the next 40 to 50...

  • Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal visits the construction site of a new hospital being built on Fort Riley, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan. The new hospital will accommodate Fort Riley's increasing healthcare needs for the next 40 to 50 years and will employ over 300 additional healthcare professionals to ensure a superior level of patient care. Along with the new hospital a Warrior Transition Complex, a primary care clinic and a traumatic brain injury clinic are being built on Fort Riley.

    Army committed to national academic excellence

    Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal visits the construction site of a new hospital being built on Fort Riley, Sept. 14, 2012, Fort Riley, Kan. The new hospital will accommodate Fort Riley's increasing healthcare needs for the next 40 to 50...

FORT RILEY, Kan. (Sept. 18, 2012) -- "Today, we dedicate our newest and most modern school in honor of a patriot," said Brig. Gen. Donald MacWillie, senior commander, Fort Riley.

The dedication of the new Seitz Elementary School took place Sept. 14, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the new building as a tribute to retired Lt. Gen. Richard Seitz, from Junction City. Seitz was chosen for his commitment and support to the education of all Unified District 475 Geary County Schools students.

"I am deeply conscious of the honor which is mine and having this magnificent school bear my name. It's more than I deserve," Seitz said.

Seitz, who had a 35-year career as an Army officer and paratrooper, commanded the 2nd Battalion, 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment during World War II; the 82nd Airborne Division and the XVIII Airborne Corps. He also was the youngest infantry battalion commander in World War II. He retired in 1975 at Fort Bragg, N.C.

"I think it's really befitting to name it after a great Soldier, a great statesman and somebody who obviously -- you can tell by his remarks -- believes deeply in education; and the involvement that he's had, so I think that's a wonderful thing," said Under Secretary of the Army Joseph Westphal.

The construction of the new elementary school was funded by Congress through a partnership with the USD 475 and Picerne Military Housing.

Picerne was the developer on the project that was funded through the Residential Communities Initiatives. This is the first time the partnership between Picerne and RCI has been used to build a school, which expedited the building process and allowed the school to open sooner.

"It is a great moment for all of us -- an opportunity for the federal government, the state government and the local government, the school district and the garrison -- all coming together to share this wonderful new asset for the Army and for our families," Westphal said.

More than 670 students are currently enrolled in the school, which opened its doors for staff Aug. 9.

The new school has many modern features including:

• autism suites
• specially constructed-Federal Emergency Management Agency certified gymnasium that can be used as a tornado shelter
• bicycle racks and a shower to encourage students and faculty to bike to school
• white-reflective roof used to reflect radiant sun rays, decreasing the air-conditioning load
• rain water collection from the roof into underground tanks used to flush toilets and provide water for cooling tower
• direct line of vision to the exterior in 90 percent of all occupied spaces
• Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver certifiable, green-energy building
• meets all of the anti-terrorism and force protection design components required by Fort Riley

"Our kids are going to enjoy a very modern, very high level of environmental sustainability in school," Westphal said.

The teachers and principal of the new school are the ones who will truly make the difference, Seitz said.

"They are the ones who will distinguish the school, not me, not the name Seitz, but Principal (Samrie) Devin and her distinguished teachers," he said.

Page last updated Wed September 19th, 2012 at 08:56