At Armed Forces Bank, our mission is to serve military service members and their families through our banking product. We provide a vast array of affordable, easily accessible financial products to both active and retired military and civilian clients in all 50 states and across the world.
But we’re even more than that. We’re excited to share a story with you about our role in an important project that aligns with our mission to serve those who serve. Armed Forces Bank was selected as the financing partner for the new Patton Junior High School located in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Learn more about the project, the timeline, and the junior high school’s military namesake.
Plans for Patton Junior High School
Back in February 2020, the Fort Leavenworth school board approved the new project to redesign and rebuild the existing Patton Junior High School at the site of the old MacArthur Elementary School.
The new building, which was designed by Hollis + Miller Architects, will have an exterior design that includes a brick and limestone blend, giving it a connection to other architecture on post. The new school will accommodate students in sixth through ninth grade; the ninth graders will be on the building’s second floor. The existing Patton Junior High does not currently include sixth graders.
The stories of General Patton, Fort Leavenworth and the Army will be represented throughout the interior of the school. The board approved an overall cost not to exceed $56 million. While the completion date for the school isn’t estimated until next summer, with a school opening date of August 2022, the finished product will certainly be worth the wait.
But according to the Fort Leavenworth Lamp, the city’s newspaper, the community is already hard at work, preparing for Patton Junior High’s opening -- even now. This past May, firefighters from Fort Leavenworth Fire and Emergency Services toured the construction site to become familiar with the building’s floor plan and conduct pre-fire planning.
“We’re pre-fire planning for when (the school is) completed, and we’re also pre-fire planning in case there’s an incident now during the construction phase. We’re getting a chance to see inside it as it’s being built to see where the weak points and fire hazards might be,” said Assistant Chief of Training Edgar Guerra. “Building construction is important because it tells us how long a certain space or structure can burn before it starts to fail. That’s what we’re really looking at.”
Armed Forces Bank’s Role in the Process
The Fort Leavenworth School District and Armed Forces Bank (AFB) have a banking relationship that dates back to 1972. We know that relationships matter.
AFB made the short list of financial institutions to submit a proposal to finance the construction of the new Patton Junior High School inside the gates of Fort Leavenworth.
When Armed Forces Bank won the bid for the project, it was a great honor for our team. Competing with local, regional and national banks is a daunting task for a dedicated military bank that typically focuses on serving the military service members and their families in communities where it operates a bank branch.
But ultimately, people bank with people -- and the personal service provided by the senior leadership team and the local bankers on post gave AFB an excellent chance to win the bid.
"I have worked with the Fort Leavenworth School District for several years and there is a mutual trust that exists between both companies with a high level of confidence that the bank's commercial real estate group, led by Dave Rambo, would deliver a proposal to meet the school board's needs," said John Baeuchle, Executive Vice President, Director of Military Banking.
The bank was thrilled to get the nod to move forward with the financing and is looking forward to what is sure to be a state-of-the-art building.
About the School’s Namesake, General George Patton
For a school on a military base -- Fort Leavenworth School District is the only district in Kansas wholly within the boundaries of a military reserve -- just any name wouldn’t do.
Four-star General George S. Patton, Jr., was born in California in 1895 and graduated from West Point Military Academy at age 24. While General Patton was never stationed at Fort Leavenworth, he did spend some time in Kansas as both a student and an instructor at Fort Riley’s Mounted Service School, which is now known as the U.S. Army Cavalry School.
Ultimately, General Patton rose through the ranks and went on to be known as one of the most successful combat generals in U.S. history. He died in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1945.
Armed Forces Bank Is Committed to Military Families
While you may know us for our dedication to serving service members and their families through our personal banking, our commitment to military families goes even deeper. We’re proud of the role we were chosen to play in the development and construction of the new Patton Junior High School.
These students -- many of them military children -- will now have a school that will be technologically equipped to meet today's advanced learning expectations for the youth of Fort Leavenworth.