The Defense Department is releasing $47 million to replace two schools on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, announced Monday.
It’s the first part of a major renovation of the base’s elementary schools that will transform a total of six campuses that are operated by the 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 July 30 groundbreaking for Hillside and Carter Lake elementary schools.
The Pentagon will release $22.5 million to replace Hillside School. The state is providing another $10.5 million. The school will house 650 children.
Another $24 million from the Defense Department will help construct a new Carter Lake Elementary School. The state is allocating $7.1 million for that project. It will have a capacity of 500 students.
The other four schools are Beachwood, Clarkmoor, Greenwood and Evergreen.
“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.”