Note: Click on the building name (except Stevens) to see photo.
On January 1, 1932, Congress designated Camp Knox as a permanent garrison and changed the name to Fort Knox. The post's Commander, Brigadier General Julian R. Lindsey (1932-34), established the Fort Knox Dependent Schools and appointed three school board members. Students were educated in tarpaper shacks. By 1935, enrollment had reached 85. In that year, a two-year high school was started. The first graduating class of 1936 consisted of four male students.
Briscoe Hall, the first school building, was constructed in 1939 and occupied in 1941. Named after the wartime Garrison Commander, Colonel Norman Butler Briscoe, the school served students in all grades. By 1942, enrollment increased to 275 students in grades K-12. Because the number of students outgrew Briscoe School, the school district vacated the building in 1961. Briscoe Hall became and remains the home of the Fort Knox Army Continuing Education System.
Crittenberger Building was constructed in 1951 as an elementary school for 630 students. The school was named after Townsend Woodhull Crittenberger, Corporal, U.S. Army. The son of Lieutenant General Willis Dale Crittenberger and a former Fort Knox student, Corporal Crittenberger was killed in action during the Rhine River crossing on March 25, 1945. The school added lunchroom facilities in 1966 and a library building in 1988. Crittenberger joined Van Voorhis School in 1993 as the only year-round schools in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In 1996, because of decreased enrollment and a projected budget shortfall, Crittenberger students, staff, and materials moved to other schools. During the 1997-98 school year, district-level staff consolidated operations into what is now Crittenberger Central Staff Offices. In 2003, Crittenberger was selected as Headquarters of the new Kentucky District, comprised of Fort Knox and Fort Campbell schools.
Stevens Building was constructed as an elementary school in 1954 with space for 575 students. The school was named after Marine PFC. Leonard Ray Stevens, a Fort Knox High School graduate ('51), killed in action in Korea in 1952. Due to low enrollment, Stevens School closed in the summer of 1993. The building was turned over to the post and is currently used by the Fort Knox Religious Support Office and by Youth Services.
Kingsolver Elementary School, named after former Superintendent William Kingsolver, was built in 1956 for 480 students. Kingsolver gained a new library in 1966 and again in 1988. A major portion of Kingsolver was destroyed by fire in 1987, and reconstruction was finished in August 1989. A new gym was constructed in 1997. During summer 2006, a new building with four classrooms was completed. For 2013, Kingsolver was named a National Blue Ribbon School. The school closed at the end of SY 2013-2014 due to a decrease in student enrollment resulting from the inactivation of the 3rd Combat Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
Scott Middle School, constructed in 1956 as a junior high school, is named after Major General Charles Lewis Scott, a former Armored Center Commander (1943-45). In 1966, an addition to Scott School was built for a warehouse and space for Central Staff Offices. In 1967, Scott was converted to an elementary school. Most of Scott was destroyed by fire on August 13, 1989. The blaze destroyed not only the supplies and furniture for the proposed new Eighth Grade Center, but also destroyed the district’s Media Center, Computer Center, Student Services Office, and Electronic Repair Shop. Scott was reconstructed as a middle school and, beginning in fall 1992, served students in grades 7 and 8. The two former middle schools, Walker and Macdonald, became intermediate schools serving grades 4-6. A new gym at Scott was constructed in 1997. When four schools closed at the end of SY 2013-14, Scott began serving students in grades 6-8.
Van Voorhis Elementary School, with a capacity for 1,020 students, was built in 1958. The school is dedicated to Lieutenant General Daniel Van Voorhis, "Grandfather of the Armored Force" and former Fort Knox Commander (1931-32). Van Voorhis school constructed a new library in 1988. Construction of a six classroom addition was completed in 1996. New gym construction was completed in 1997. In 2002, a four classroom addition was completed. When four schools closed at the end of SY 2013-14, Van Voorhis began serving students in grades Pre-kindergarten through 5.
Pierce Elementary School, also constructed in 1958, with a 600-student capacity, was named after Brigadier General John L. Pierce, Chief of Staff, Armored Commander, 1943-44. A school addition built in 1961 initially housed the superintendent’s office (until that office moved into the Scott School annex), next served as the district media center, and then was used by Pierce School. Pierce added a new library in 1988. A new gym, named after former Principal Ralph V. Gilbert, was completed in 1997. During summer 2006, a new building with four classrooms was completed. In February 2008, three generations of General Pierce's family -- his daughter, her son and grandson -- visited the school named in his honor. The school closed at the end of SY 2013-2014 due to a decrease in student enrollment resulting from the inactivation of the 3rd Combat Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
Fort Knox High School, serving students in grades 9-12, was originally constructed in 1958. Building additions were completed in 1961 and 1966. A new library and intramural complex were constructed in 1987. A Vocational Annex was constructed in 1989. Due to the Scott School fire, the offices of Student Services and of Technology and Instruction temporarily occupied some Vocational Annex rooms in the early 1990s. In April 2008, a groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of construction to replace and demolish most of the old high school. New high school construction was completed in July 2009. The Dedication Ceremony was conducted August 7, 2009. Read details.
Mudge Elementary School was built in 1961 for 600 students and named after Major General Verne D. Mudge, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division in World War II. The school added a new library in 1988. New gym construction was completed in 1997. During summer 2006, a new building with four classrooms was completed. The school closed at the end of SY 2013-2014 due to a decrease in student enrollment resulting from the inactivation of the 3rd Combat Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
Walker Intermediate School was constructed in 1962 as a junior high school for 400 students. It was named after Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker, WWII Armor Commander who, while commanding the 8th U.S. Army in Korea, was killed in a vehicle accident on December 23, 1950. Construction in 1987-88 gave Walker a new set of classrooms and a new library. When Scott Middle School opened in fall 1992, Walker then became an intermediate school, with grades 4-6. The school closed at the end of SY 2013-2014 due to a decrease in student enrollment resulting from the inactivation of the 3rd Combat Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
Macdonald Elementary School was built in 1967 as a junior high school for 650 students. The school is named after Major General John C. Macdonald, a former chief of staff of the U.S. Army Armor Center (1947-52). When Scott Middle School opened in fall 1992, Macdonald then became an intermediate school, with grades 4-6. When four schools closed at the end of SY 2013-14, Macdonald became an elementary school, with grades 1-5.
Powers Alumni Performing Arts Center, constructed across the street from Fort Knox High School, was named after Army Lieutenant Edward C. Powers, a Fort Knox High School graduate who was killed in action in South Vietnam on May 2, 1969. With a seating capacity of 695, the center provided extensive arts education programming throughout the academic year for FKCS students, their families, and the surrounding communities. The center hosted stage productions such as the Louisville Ballet, Children's Theater, special programs honoring designated ethnic observance months, and the annual community performance of Handel's "Messiah.” In 1988, the center won the Kentucky Governor’s Community Arts Award. In the early 1990s, the school system and the superintendent won a prestigious Kennedy Center Arts in Education Award. In spring of 2008, center ownership was transferred to post in exchange for FKCS gaining ownership of the tennis courts and the bus compound. In April 2010, Garrison announced that the center building was unsafe and would be razed. In March 2011, the center was demolished.
FUNDING: Before 1946, the Fort Knox school system received no financial assistance from state or federal governments. Funds were generated through tuition, raffles, turkey shoots, auto license plate sales, Central Post Fund donations, and a percentage from then-legal slot machines on post. In 1946 the school district received $100 in appropriated funds for each child of military parents living on post and for each pupil whose parent was employed in Civil Service.
Now, the school system operates under provisions of Public Law 874, enacted by the 81st Congress. Funding comes from the Department of Defense, through the Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools.
BOARD OF EDUCATION: Initially, a board appointed by the Fort Knox commanding general governed the school district. This changed in 1980 after a parent group on a military base in Puerto Rico successfully sued the federal government for the right to elect its own school board. Fort Knox Community Schools now has a five-member advisory Board of Education. The members were elected by and represent the parents and legal guardians of children enrolled in the schools. Likewise, the members' children attend post schools.