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Clover Park gets $40 million to rebuild JBLM school

High ceilings, natural light and a huge mural of children playing on Mount Rainier make for a welcoming lobby at the new Rainier Elementary School, which opened at JBLM last fall. The next school at the base that’s in line for federal funding is Evergreen Elementary.
High ceilings, natural light and a huge mural of children playing on Mount Rainier make for a welcoming lobby at the new Rainier Elementary School, which opened at JBLM last fall. The next school at the base that’s in line for federal funding is Evergreen Elementary. Staff photographer

Five elementary schools have been rebuilt at Joint Base Lewis-McChord over the last two years.

Now the Clover Park School District will receive a $40 million grant from the Department of Defense to rebuild the sixth and last outdated school at the sprawling military base.

The Lakewood-based school district operates schools located on the base, but the federal government largely finances the buildings, most of which were built in the 1950s and ’60s.

Funding for Evergreen Elementary School comes from a Defense Department initiative to replace aging and substandard school buildings at military installations across the nation.

“Evergreen is a very special school serving students with disabilities that requires specialized instructional spaces,” Clover Park Superintendent Debbie LeBeau said in a news release. “Updated technology, classroom spaces and improved access for physically challenged students will greatly improve the quality of education for our students.”

Money from the Defense Department recently financed five other school construction projects at JBLM.

Two years ago, a new Carter Lake Elementary and new Hillside Elementary opened. Last year, the district opened Rainier Elementary and Meriwether Elementary. This year, a new Beachwood Elementary is scheduled to open Sept. 2.

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