Fort Knox school closings come during military scale-down - News, Weather & Sports

Fort Knox school closings come during military scale-down

Frank Calvano Frank Calvano
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
Deanna Musgrave Deanna Musgrave
Betty Brandenburg Betty Brandenburg

FORT KNOX, KY (WAVE) – There has been a major population loss at Fort Knox. About 3,500 soldiers are leaving. Their brigade has been deactivated prompting four schools at the post to shut down. 

"Certainly it's not a walk in the park. It's a very challenging situation," Kentucky District Superintendent Frank Calvano said.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Four Fort Knox schools to close]

The scale-down at Knox has already started along with the push towards a slimmer military. Just last week Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed slashing the Army to its smallest size since World War II.

"If you look at just the straight numbers but there's more to it than that, as you know. It's capability," Hagel said.

Roughly 80,000 active-duty Army soldiers would get pink slips under the proposed budget by 2019, while 130 teachers and staff at Knox already have.

"Is that a harbinger of what's coming on down the line?" Calvano pondered. "I really don't know. I'd like to think not," he said.

The four schools will be boarded up after this summer. The will give employees, some who have worked there for years, a few months to figure out what's next.

"The HR (human resources) people are just going to be there in any way that they can," Walker Intermediate employee, Deanna Musgrave said. "And I really don't know. We don't know,"

Close to 1,300 students will remain for the next school year as teachers say goodbye to their students and their jobs.

"When you're in the military, every time that you move, you have to look at it as a positive opportunity. So as teachers, we are trying to look at this as a positive opportunity and trying to keep that into focus for the kids," teacher Betty Brandenburg said.

The Superintendent said he hopes the schools will one day re-open, but with the new proposed cuts to the defense budget and the number of troops, he believes only time will tell.

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