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Both Carter Lake, Hillside Elementary Schools to be rebuilt on JBLM

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Clover Park School District, in partnership with Joint Base Lewis-McChord, is building two new elementary schools. Both schools, Carter Lake Elementary, located on JBLM McChord Field, and Hillside Elementary on JBLM Lewis Main, will be built at their current locations and are slated for completion in the fall of 2013.

In 2006, CPSD began a partnership with JBLM to evaluate and quantify the conditions and capacity of the seven elementary schools on the military installation. 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 Department of Defense, Congress and the White House, a $250 million budget was included in the FY11 defense appropriations bill and a national program to fix educational facilities on military installations was created.

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 news schools comes from the DOD's Office of Economic Adjustment and Washington state school construction funds.

"Both schools will be fully funded with federal and state funds," Lynn Wilson, CPSD's administrator for business services and capital projects, explained. "U.S. Representatives Norm Dicks and Adam Smith, along with our U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, have been instrumental supporters of these projects on behalf of military families."

Wilson explained that the federal funding required at least a 20 percent match for the total project cost. "We have worked very hard with Washington's Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to secure school construction assistance funding for Carter Lake and Hillside," he said.

To complete both school construction projects, the district is pursuing the General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM) process through the state. Each project has a guaranteed maximum price, which protects the school district and local taxpayers.

"I anticipate that we will have a final cost estimate by June," Wilson said.

BCRA Design is the architect for the new Carter Lake and Hillside Elementary Schools. According to Wilson, OAC Services was selected as the program manager and a GC/CM will be selected soon.

"Generally speaking, elementary school construction projects take approximately 18 to 24 months from start to finish," Wilson said. "We are on a fast track and have done the first portion of the process during the last six months."

Construction of the new Carter Lake and Hillside Elementary Schools is anticipated to begin this summer. Carter Lake Elementary will be built for a capacity of 500 full-time students and Hillside will have capacity for 650 full-time students. The new schools are designed based on a standardized prototype, similar to the district's newest elementary school, Lakeview Hope Academy.

"There is a standardized architectural design," Wilson explained. "However, depending on specific school programs, the site location and other variables, there will be some adjustments and differences."

Another $250 million was appropriated in FY12 and the school district has been invited to apply for federal funding for three additional elementary schools on JBLM: Clarkmoor, Greenwood and Beachwood. "We will follow the same process as we have with the Carter Lake and Hillside projects," Wilson said.

By the numbers

250,000,000: Federal dollars appropriated to upgrade DOD schools worldwide.

1,150: Number of students the new elementary schools will be able to accommodate.

3: Possible future upgrades (Clarkmoor, Greenwood and Beachwood.)

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