The spending bill passed by Congress on Thursday could provide more than $77 million for schools located on Joint Base Lewis-Mc-Chord.
U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, DBelfair, said President Obama is expected to sign the appropriations bill that includes $250 million for grants to schools on military installations.
“The Army conducted an assessment of all schools and Joint Base Lewis-McChord was one of the top priorities.” Dicks said. “The Defense Department will make the ultimate decision, but I think they will just go down their list.”
Seven elementary schools at the local base are owned by either the U.S. Department of Education or the Army, and are operated by the Clover Park School District. One of the schools, Heartwood, is closed. Five others – Beachwood, Carter Lake, Clarkmoor, Greenwood and Hillside – were built in the 1950s or early ’60s. Evergreen was built in 1991.
A plan issued by the school district and the military base in July offered a wish list that included six projects, totaling more than $188 million. Clover Park and Lewis-Mc-Chord officials will work to prioritize needs, said district spokeswoman Kim Prentice.
The list includes:
Consolidating Greenwood and Clarkmoor into a new, 650-student school.
Replacing Beachwood with two new facilities accommodating 450 students each.
Replacing Hillside with a new, 650-student facility.
Consolidating Carter Lake and Heartwood into a new, 650-student school.
Relocating Woodbrook Middle School, which is off base but serves a large population of military students, to the base.
Retrofitting and modernizing Evergreen to increase capacity.