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New schools at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Two schools should open for 2014-15 school year

Greenwood Elementary students will be moving to Rainier Elementary in the fall. Photo credit: Clover Park School District

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At a recent Clover Park School District (CPSD) Board of Directors meeting, the names of three new elementary schools, two of which are on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, were announced.

According to a press release from the office of CPSD superintendent Debbie LeBeau, each school had a committee made up of parents, staff and community members who followed the school board policy and procedures for naming facilities and making recommendations to the board.

For the new school being built on JBLM North, the board selected Meriwether Elementary, which is a tip of the hat to Meriwether Lewis, the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition from 1804 to 1806, as well as the name of the Meriwether Landing housing area it will support.

The other school, which will be at JBLM Main, will be named Rainier Elementary, after local landmark Mt. Rainier.

Both of the new base schools are being funded by the Department of Defense's Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) and Washington state school construction Assistance program and will serve the students who currently attend Clarkmoor and Greenwood Elementary Schools.

When both Clarkmoor and Greenwood were rated by the DoD to determine eligibility for replacement funding it was found that the two buildings, which are each more than 50 years old, had a number of capacity and condition issues. For instance, there were problems with the roofs as well as HVAC systems, meaning it was a struggle to keep the rain out and the heat in. Not to mention, the older buildings lacked the technology capability more inline with today's curriculum.

"We have been able to address all of these issues with the new builds and added additional features beyond those, from breakout teaching and resource rooms spaces, to nice stage areas and expanded common areas like the libraries, cafeterias, media labs," stated Lynn Wilson, CPSD administrator for business services and capital projects.

The schools will boast increased square footage and be brand new throughout, including staff offices and adjacent playgrounds.  

Rainier Elementary will service up to 650 students and will house the students from Clarkmoor and Greenwood. Meriwether Elementary will be only the second school on JBLM North and will serve 450 students in order to address the additional growth in housing areas on that side of base.

Clarkmoor will be returned to the Army after this school year to be used at its discretion. Next year, Greenwood will accept the transfer of all students presently attending Beachwood Elementary while the latter undergoes renovations. Beachwood will then reopen in 2015 and at that time, Greenwood will be demolished.

"Beyond providing new state-of-the-art schools, this is a great community resource for the entire area and really complements what the Army is already doing with the CDC and SKIES centers," he stated.

Both of the new schools are set to open this fall in order to accommodate the 2014-15 school year and will host grand opening celebrations.

"Construction is on schedule so far and we are looking forward to when the sites start to resemble schools," Wilson said. Parents can stay up-to-date on construction progress and view proposed grand opening dates by checking the CPSD website:

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