Story and photo by Sgt. 1st Class Shannon Wright
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Fort Carson leaders held the third quarter Town Hall Meeting, themed “Back to School is Cool,” Tuesday at The Hub.
A crowd of more than 100 people, Soldiers and mostly Family members, attended, making it the largest town hall showing all year, according to Col. John Keenan, deputy commander of U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Carson.
Keenan began the meeting by highlighting some of the more significant installation construction projects both completed and in the queue.
“We’ve improved the parking in front of the building at the Special Events Center,” said Keenan. “It’ll probably be another month before it’s completely done, but a ‘great job’ to our (Department of Public Works) folks and contractors.”
He also talked about the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division’s move to the Wilderness Road Complex, which was completed last month, noting there is a need to increase parking and alleviate traffic congestion.
“We opened Gate 6 to help the 4-4 Wilderness crew,” he said. “It takes a lot of pressure off the traffic network on Fort Carson.”
Keenan said leaders are also looking at opening Gate 19, which provides access from Fountain, to further aid in traffic flow.
Ongoing construction projects on Fort Carson include the resiliency campus projected to be ready for Soldiers, Family members and government employees in April; post exchange renovations projected to be complete in November; the commissary project slated for completion in March; the Triple Food Facility off of Prussman Boulevard ready to serve next month; and Borriello Brothers Pizza being contracted now.
Presentations were also made by Lt. Col. Timothy O’Haver, Medical Department Activity; Cheryl Serrano, School District 8 superintendent; Lt. Col. Mike Kropushek, director, Department of Emergency Services. Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. James A. Kilpatrick joined the panel to address concerns from the audience.
An issue O’Haver described as “a big deal” is the number of no-shows for appointments the hospital has been experiencing with nearly 2,500 appointments not kept in July alone.
“We have a big campaign going on now to combat the no-show issue,” said O’Haver. “There is a huge cost, and during this tight economic time, we need to figure out how to be better stewards of our money,” he said, pointing out every no-show is money wasted.
Serrano’s big ticket items included changes in school hours and high school curriculum.
“We’re really excited about some changes with high school. We’re offering things we haven’t in years,” she said, noting advanced placement courses will be offered. The high school students will also be starting their days a little later, which Serrano says will open up more tutoring opportunities for those students who require or want it.
Kropushek addressed the need for crossing guards for the hours children would be walking back and forth to school.
“I’ve walked the ground myself to make sure the signs for crosswalks are where they’re supposed to be and crosswalks are clearly painted,” he said. He also said Soldiers will be posted to ensure motorists are heeding the signs and children are making it to school and back safely.
The meeting ended with a brief question-and-answer session; most questions were directed at child safety while walking to and from school and traffic congestion at crosswalks.