Your Name (if you would like it to appear):Mel
Base Name: Fort Leavenworth
Base Location: North east Kansas border, close to Kansas City
How long have you been here? (give years please, ex. 2003-present)
What is housing like? On-post? (waiting list, conditions, etc.) Off-post? Any areas to stay away from? Average price to rent or buy?
Ah, housing. At this base, it really depends on your rank. There are many nice, new houses being built on post, mostly for the ranks of Field Grade Officers. Because this base houses CAC and the Command and General Staff college, there are many, many officers here going to various military schools. Most of the officers homes are incredibly nice, there are the older historic homes, or the newly built ones. For the company grade officers, there are a few nice housing areas, but many of the older student houses are smaller and in need of a good remodeling, which they are slated to get in the next few years. As for the enlisted houses. There is very little of it. The base also houses the United States Disciplinary Barracks, which has the units with the majority of enlisted personnel from the base, and they just doubled their strength with the addition of a new battalion and the first ever corrections Brigade being formed. There is one housing area for the junior enlisted soldiers, which isn’t bad, they are three bedroom older townhomes, that have been upgraded, they have hardwood floors, but that housing area is also where the Bachelor Officers can be housed. Officers without their families can have 1-2 other roommates in those same housing areas. There is also another housing area which houses the junior enlisted and junior NCO’s. They are tri-plex and quadraplex homes with one car garages. I don’t think they are very nice and the neighborhoods seem sort of run down, but, I’ve seen worse. There is one other similar neighborhood for Junior NCO’s and Senior NCO’s, but in a different area of base. There is a few other Senior NCO housing areas, scattered among some officers housing areas, and one street of newer homes that are really nice. They just remodeled one area of enlisted housing, and the houses looked so nice when they were done, but housing decided to make that a Field Grade Officer neighborhood as well. With moving so many of the enlisted personnel from that neighborhood into the only other few enlisted ones to make room for the officers, housing wait lists for enlisted personnel is VERY long. I could tell you so many horror stories about housing- it’s my biggest pet peeve at this base!
As for housing off post, the town of Leavenworth is not that great, there are MANY areas to stay away from. My rule of thumb is if it’s not in a subdivision, don’t rent or buy it, but to be in a subdivision means being farther away from the base or in the town of Lansing. The rental rates for the subdivision homes are usually pretty steep in rent, as this areas rental market is mostly based on the Officers BAH rate for those coming to the school here, so many enlisted soldiers end up moving to areas like Platte City, Missouri, Atchison, KS or even Kansas City, itself to find something safe and affordable. An average home rental in Leavenworth is about $1,000- $1,500 for a 3 bedroom in a nice area.
Here’s the link to base housing:
And a site with some more links to more housing information and off post rentals: http://garrison.leavenworth.army.mil/sites/newcomers/housing.asp
Rate the PX & Commissary. The PX and commissary are pretty nice. It’s a smaller base, so they aren’t that big. The PX doesn’t carry a whole lot of items, but they just did some renovations, and have upgraded their food court, which has a Church’s chicken, Taco Bell, Anthony’s Pizza and Charley’s steakery, as well as a Burger King across the street. They did also add a guns & ammunition shop to the PX. The clothing and Sales is in the main PX, and it is often lacking things bigger PX’s might have. There is an optometry doctor, and eye glass shop, barber shop, beauty salon, flower shop, Gamestop and Starbucks in the PX as well as an embroidery shop with a lot of neat custom made items. The commissary actually has a lot for how small it is, and they are very helpful in ordering custom items for those with allergies or overseas items, if they can.
Activities on base? There are usually a lot of activities on base. MWR usually puts on several activities a month, and other clubs will have their own activities as well. There is a lot for families to do on post. There are two small lakes where fishing is allowed, a skate park, a miniature golf course, the post theater, the Rod & Gun club, Stable Activities is VERY active here, and has one of the nicest stables I’ve ever seen on a post, a bowling alley, two gyms, one with an indoor pool, and several nice eating establishments that have their own activities, as well. Here’s a link to FT Leavenworth MWR:
Active Spouses Club? I’ve never heard of any spouses clubs on post, not to say there isn’t one, but it isn’t advertised very well if there is one.
Things to do in area? There aren’t many things to do in the immediate area, there is a nice park in the city of Leavenworth, and a nice, small downtown area with some quaint small shops as well as a Farmers Market on the weekends, but you usually have to drive to get to the good stuff. There is a Super Wal-mart, Kmart and Home depot, as well as a small mall with a few stores, and two small movie theaters in town. Kansas City is only a 20-40 minute drive, depending on where you are going, though, and it has EVERYTHING!
Here’s some links for things to do in the Leavenworth area:
and some popular places in Kansas City:
School System? The school system on post is AMAZING! Best we’ve had in the Army! I can’t rave about it enough, the schools are state of the art, and the teachers are great. My children’s school is has a wonderful nature court where the students hatch ducklings every spring, a nice auditorium, cafeteria, separate gym and wonderful library, as well as classrooms with smart boards and many computers. The other two elementary schools on base LOOK amazing, I’ve only been in them a few times, but one has a planetarium and the other I could NOT believe was an elementary school. The building itself is art, lol! The school district only goes through Junior High, though, so high schoolers are bussed to Leavenworth schools, which I have heard are not that great, and in looking at district and school performance levels before coming here, seeing that students are to pay an enrollment fee and n some cases, for their books, as well as hearing many of the troubles with the district superintendent’s legal issues and the school board itself, I was not willing to send my kids to Leavenworth schools. They are however, building and renovating many of their school buildings. I have heard wonderful things about the Lansing school district, and know several people with children in that school district and they love it, too. The people I know that live in Platte City like that school district as well.
Here are some links:
Also, the Child Development Center is nice, but small, and the waitlists for some of their care and preschool programs can be LONG. When we moved here in the middle of the school year, I tried to get my son into a preschool program at the CDC, he was on the waitlist for 6 months, and was never able to go to preschool (which has me worried as he’s going to kindergarten, now, with very little preschool experience). Same with preschools out in town, waitlist can be LONG! You can put your child on the waitlist for the CDC before you get to the base, I wish I had known that before we moved here. Also, hourly care is VERY hard to come by. They open up reservations on the 10th of the month for the following month, so be sure if you know the dates you need care, you call on the 10th! Even a day or two later can result to having to be put on the waitlist! They are building a new CDC, but I don’t believe it will add any additional hourly care. Here’s a link for more info:
Any colleges in area? There are many educational opportunities at the ed center on post, especially with much of this base being an officer’s college, but there is the Kansas City community College and University of Saint Mary out in town, as well as many other colleges 20-40 minutes away.
Jobs? (on post and off) You have your usual opportunities for employment in the are, retail, restaurant, a few factories, like Hallmark, as well. Much of this base is run by government/civilian employees as well, so finding a job isn’t too hard. Here’s a helpful link:
Favorite aspect of this base/surrounding city? The base itself is very nice, the main post area has a lot of historic homes and building, with a lot of history to it, and much of the base is in a park like setting. It’s very beautiful here, and while the town of Leavenworth isn’t super great, there are many places to travel to in the area that are wonderful. The people here are usually pretty friendly, being in the midwest, the weather leaves something to be desired, a lot of thunderstorms (tornado warnings), ice and some snow in the winter and heat and humidity in the summer. It’s nice having the definite seasons, though, and we have definitely had worse, lol! Overall it’s a pretty nice base, if we hadn’t had such issues with housing and our unit here, the lack of FRG’s (they are just starting to have them- at all, and the regulations for fundraising, etc, are very strict). it’s small, and it is not like you’re typical base. There are probably 2 humvees at the entire base, there is very little to see that screams ARMY, like tanks or helicopters, lol, but I guess on the plus side, you don’t have to worry about artillery fire shaking your whole house at 3 am, either. Many of the tenant units have to travel to FT Riley or FT Leonard- Wood for their training, though, because of it. There is also no hospital here. there is a family clinic and a medical center, which does perform some surgical procedures, but most of the time you have to go to one of the three hospitals out in town. For specialized care for children, you are usually referred to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, which is a 40- 60 minute drive depending on traffic. Here are some links to the medical care:
Leavenworth VA medical center: http://www.leavenworth.va.gov/
Children’s Mercy: http://www.childrens-mercy.org/
Local websites? (base, chamber, newspaper, schools, etc.)
Any other tips? Keep an open mind, get out and explore the areas, and get you’re name on the housing list (you can submit an application through the yardiportal site online) and preschool waitlists ASAP!