Clover Park School District (CPSD) will host a grand opening celebration for the new Carter Lake and Hillside Elementary Schools Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m. The grand opening, which celebrates the construction and completion of both schools, takes place at Carter Lake Elementary School on JBLM McChord Field.
The event will include a ribbon cutting ceremony and self-guided tours of Carter Lake Elementary School. The event ends at 7 p.m.
Special guests include former U.S. Representative, the honorable Norm Dicks; LTG Robert Brown, Commanding General I Corps; JBLM Joint Base Commander COL Charles Hodges, Jr. and COL David Kumashiro, Commander 62nd Airlift Wing. Light refreshments will be served.
In 2006, CPSD began a partnership with JBLM to evaluate and quantify the conditions and capacity of the six elementary schools on the base. The outcome of that study kicked off the Military Child Education Initiative, which raised awareness of failing school infrastructures on military bases across the United States. After dozens of tours and outreach to officials with the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Congress and the White House, $250 million was included in the Fiscal Year 2011 (FY11) defense appropriations bill to fix educational facilities on military installations nationwide.
Carter Lake Elementary School and Hillside Elementary School are the first two schools across the nation to be completed as a result of the Military Child Education Initiative. Carter Lake and Hillside Elementary Schools ranked second and fifth, respectively, in the top 25 schools needing immediate attention based on an independent scoring of enrollment capacity and building conditions. Funding for the two new schools comes from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) and Washington state’s school construction assistance program.
“Undersecretary of the Army Dr. Joseph Westphal, the honorable Norm Dicks and U.S. Representative Adam Smith, along with our U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, were instrumental supporters of these projects on behalf of military families,” said Debbie LeBeau, superintendent of Clover Park School District. “The grand opening of the new Carter Lake and Hillside Elementary Schools represents a federal, state and local partnership designed to ensure our military students have access to the safe and updated facilities they deserve.”
Both schools were built at their current locations—Carter Lake has a capacity of 500 students and Hillside accommodates 650 students. BCRA was the architect for the new schools and Seattle-based Skanska is the general contractor construction manager.
The two schools total more than 132,000 square feet with additional parking and new sports fields. Both Carter Lake and Hillside now allow for a more collaborative environment to enhance student learning. Each facility was built with sustainability and energy efficiency as priorities. Each school is currently seeking Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol Certifications, which may be awarded in 2014. Construction of these projects provided work for 22 subcontractors from the Puget Sound region.
Three additional schools on JBLM, Clarkmoor, Greenwood and Beachwood, received funding as part of a FY12 Department of Defense appropriation of $250 million. The construction of Clarkmoor and Greenwood is underway. Ground breaking for Beachwood is scheduled for June 2014.
Community members are invited to attend the grand opening celebration. The location is 3420 Lincoln Boulevard on JBLM-McChord Field. Parking is limited; carpooling is encouraged. Visitor passes may be obtained at the JBLM-McChord Field visitor center, I-5 exit 125. The visitor pass process may take longer on busy days, so community members should plan accordingly.
For more information on the grand opening celebration, call the Clover Park School District’s community relations office at 253-583-5040.