FORT RILEY, Kan. (AP)--Defense Secretary Robert Gates has broken ground on a new elementary school at Fort Riley.
Gates had some help from young children Thursday in turning soil for the school, which is needed because of an increase in Fort Riley's population of soldiers over the past six years.
Gates said about $30 million in defense funding is being redirected to build the new school and improve existing schools on the northeast Kansas Army post.
The defense secretary and Kansas native also had a closed town-hall meeting with soldiers and their families to hear their concerns and discuss military life.
The number of soldiers at Fort Riley has increased since 2005 from about 10,000 to more than 18,000.