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Committee says, close Woodbrook

Half of students have a parent at JBLM

Woodbrook has served military middle-schoolers since 1963. Photo courtesy Woodbrook Middle School

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An advisory committee gave its final recommendation last week to close an aging Woodbrook Middle School, which serves students living on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

This spring, the Clover Park School District is expected to decide on the recommendation from the district's Facilities Advisory Committtee (FAC) to close the school that was built in 1963, and consolidate it with Mann Middle School in Lakewood near Lakes High School.  A new expanded school would be built on the Mann site to accommodate students currently attending both middle schools.

Every six years the school districts in Washington do a facility advisory, and a review of all the facilities was done in the Clover Park School District.

More than 50 percent of the 450 students enrolled at Woodbrook have a parent stationed at JBLM and many live on base.

The school that was built in 1963 needs a new roof, a new boiler, has a failing septic system, and needs lots of other maintenance repairs. There are also some site issues with flooding.

"The facility group was asked to review it and make a recommendation as to whether we should do some repairs to it, or basically do no repairs and eventually close it," said Rick Ring, administrator for business services and capital projects for the school district, late last year.

That final decision on closure is up to the school board.

"If we're going to close the school, we're going to have to have boundary meetings with parents so they know what's going on," Ring said. "They see where they'll probably go to school. Things like that. None of that has happened yet."

Ring said it wasn't likely that a new middle school would be built on JBLM.

"I don't see any chance of that," Ring said. "One, we don't have a site identified. Secondly, it would require a secondary fund for us. James Guerrero,  an FAC member who presented the committee's recommendations to the board, "stressed how well the process worked for the committee and complimented district officials and committee facilitators on the thoroughness of information provided and for allowing the committee to make its recommendations without influence or bias."

No actions have been taken on the FAC recommendations. Board members are now expected to study and discuss the FAC recommendations before moving forward.

The next regular meeting of the CPSD Board of Directors is 6 p.m., Feb. 13.

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