School district serving JBLM gets $91 million

adam.ashton@thenewstribune.comJune 5, 2013 

The Defense Department is sending almost $91 million to Lakewood’s Clover Park School District to demolish and rebuild three elementary schools that serve students at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Last year, the school district received $47 million in similar grants to renovate two other elementary schools it operates for the federal government at the base south of Tacoma: Hillside, on the old Fort Lewis side of the base, and Carter Lake, near McChord Field. They are both set to reopen this fall and will have room for a total of 1,150 students.

The new grant is intended to replace Beachwood, Clarkmoor and Greenwood elementary schools. The renovations would benefit some 1,550 students.

Washington state and Clover Park plan to spend an additional $23 million on the renovations.

“On behalf of our students, we offer our sincere thanks,” said Debbie LeBeau, superintendent of the Clover Park district.

The Office of Economic Adjustment is a Defense Department program that works to mitigate the impacts of military growth. It has been awarding grants to schools based on a 2011 study that ranked construction priorities for outdated or overcrowded campuses. Washington lawmakers have lobbied for several years to keep Lewis-McChord schools in line for funding.

All three of the Clover Park campuses slated for remodels date back to the 1950s and ’60s. Another base school, Evergreen Elementary, was built in 1991 and is not included in the current round of funding.

The Defense Department is setting aside $31.3 million for Beachwood, $30.9 million for Clarkmoor and $28.6 million for Greenwood.

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