Department of Defense Education Activity

Fort Knox to Build Another Modern School

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FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY — August 17, 2021 — Fort Knox is getting a new school! The Department of Defense Education Activity will replace its 63-year-old Van Voorhis Elementary School with a state-of-the-art, 21st-century school.

“All of our schools at Fort Knox are well known for providing a high-quality education for on-post children, and though it’s the oldest school on post, Van Voorhis Elementary is no different,” said Fort Knox Garrison Commander Col. Lance O’Bryan. “The staff at that school have done a truly wonderful job teaching our children with the tools at their disposal, so with a brand new facility and the latest technology, the sky’s the limit.” 

Van Voorhis Elementary School is one of four DoDEA schools located at Fort Knox; the others are Kingsolver Elementary School, Scott Intermediate School and Fort Knox Middle High School.

“You could hear exclamations of joy across the school when we learned the new school is on its way,” said Van Voorhis Elementary School principal Angelique Johnson. “Everyone is looking forward to stepping into a new Van Voorhis Elementary School. Teachers love the idea of collaborative spaces, and students love the idea of being connected to the outdoors. We cannot wait.” 

About DoDEA’s 21st-century Schools

Twenty-first century learning is student-centered, participatory and experientially oriented. To support 21st-century teaching and learning, DoDEA learning environments are flexible, integrated, and adaptable to diverse activities. 

This makes our schools unique. Students flow and work within an open, neighborhood concept that creates a community of learners. All students in a “neighborhood” work and collaborate with each other throughout the day.

DoDEA calls this its 21st-century school model. The heart of each grade is a commons or multipurpose space. Surrounding it are instructional spaces of various sizes that are grouped together in neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has a learning hub, a central, flexible space that can be used for projects, or breakout sessions and activities. Clustered around the learning hub are learning studios or classrooms which are paired for collaborative instruction; group learning spaces for smaller-scale project work; and smaller spaces for one-to-one work. Neighborhoods also have easy access to outdoor learning and play spaces.

This community approach means students learn and work collaboratively so that all students receive a top-notch experience. Our teachers collaborate too! They co-develop learning plans together, which translates into similar homework expectations.

knox-horiz-1knox-horiz-2Construction Details

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Louisville District will manage the construction of the school. Construction on the new school will begin during the 2021-2022 school year; it will open during the 2024-2025 school year. The new school will span 104,000 square feet and cost $58.9 million.