The acreage that comprises the Great Plains Industrial Park was originally amassed to form the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant (KSAAP) during WW II. For nearly seven decades residents from throughout the four-state area manufactured mortars, missiles, grenades and the sophisticated Sensor Fused Weapon. During WW II its employment reached a peak of 7,358 people. During the Gulf War, in 1991, private contract operator Day & Zimmermann employed 1,302 people.
To accommodate Congress’ efforts to streamline America’s military operations, KSAAP was placed on the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure list. All production operations ended in 2008.
The Great Plains Development Authority was created under Kansas Statutes by the Labette County Commission to acquire and develop a large portion of the property to offset the loss of jobs, ensure remediation efforts and to return the property to productive use.
A large portion of the site was transferred from the United States Army to the Great Plains Development Authority (a quasi-municipality) in 2010. Environmental regulators have determined that 88 percent of the new industrial park’s grounds are free of contamination, and ready for immediate development, since the property provided buffer zones for production areas.
Remediation efforts have already begun on the remaining 12 percent.