Landrieu: Ft. Polk Children One Step Closer to New Elementary School
Dept. of Defense releases $18.3 million in funds to begin construction
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., "Military Mary," today announced that the Department of Defense is releasing $18.3 million to the Vernon Parish School Board to build a new South Polk Elementary School. In addition to the state and local government's $2 million investment, today's action will allow construction to begin on the $20-million school for 800 first- through fourth-graders of military families stationed at Fort Polk.
"The children of Fort Polk and their families are one step closer today to receiving a quality education in a new, state-of-the-art school that they deserve," Sen. Landrieu said. "Our soldiers' children must have every chance for success and that means providing them with the best education facilities possible. I'm proud to have secured this funding for Ft. Polk, and I will continue to work with all involved stakeholders to ensure this project is a success."
"Through the efforts of the Office of Economic Adjustment, the Vernon Parish School Board, the Fort Polk Command, and the State of Louisiana, our goal of constructing a new elementary school on Fort Polk is becoming a reality," said Jackie D. Self, superintendent of Vernon Parish Schools. "Sen. Landrieu has been instrumental in bringing together stakeholders from the Department of Defense down to meet with local leaders in and around Vernon Parish. The federal funding she has secured is invaluable to helping us build a new school that will help our children receive a high quality education. A sincere thank you to all concerned for their efforts. We look forward to the beginning of this project."
In July, Sen. Landrieu announced that she had secured the federal funding for the new elementary school. A longtime supporter of Fort Polk, Sen. Landrieu has worked to bring together federal and local stakeholders to expand and improve the quality of life at Fort Polk. She organized and facilitated meetings in November 2011 between Fort Polk Progress and Dept. of Defense personnel. Included among these meetings were: the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) regarding improvement of South Polk Elementary School; the Office of the Sec. of Defense about Fort Polk's growth potential; and the G 3/5/7 to discuss land acquisition for Fort Polk. Sen. Landrieu visited Fort Polk in June 2011 for the grand opening of Camellia Terrace Neighborhood Center and to hear from military families on the support they need on and off post.
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