The Defense Department is releasing $47 million to replace two schools on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Tacoma, announced today. It’s the first part of a major renovation of the base’s elementary schools that will replace a total of six campuses that are operated by Clover Park School District.
The money comes from a $250 million fund Dicks helped create two years ago after a Pentagon study showed dozens of substandard schools on military installations all over the country.
George Behan, Dicks’ spokesman, said the money will come in time for Clover Park to break ground on the schools next month. Dicks said Undersecretary of the Army Joseph Westphal plans to attend the groundbreaking.
Clover Park is to receive $22.5 million from the Pentagon to replace Hillside School. The state is providing another $10.5 million. The school will house 500 children.
The district is to receive another $24 million from the Defense Department to construct a new Carter Lake School. The state is allocating $7.1 million for that project. It will have a capacity of 650 students.
The other four schools in line for replacement are Beachwood, Clarkmoor, Evergreen and Greenwood.
“I feel very positive it’s going to happen,” said Dicks, who is retiring from Congress this year. “It’s very exciting to get it started on my watch.”