Celebration for two more new JBLM schools set for Wednesday

The public is invited to help Clover Park School District celebrate Wednesday’s grand opening of two new elementary schools new this fall on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The celebration for Meriwether and Rainier elementary schools will take place from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at 10285 Compass Ave. on JBLM-Lewis North.

Special guests include U.S. Sen. Patty Murray; former U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks; JBLM Joint Base Commander Col. Charles Hodges Jr.; and Col. David Kumashiro, commander of the base’s 62nd Airlift Wing.

The event will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony and self-guided tours of Meriwether.

Two other elementary campuses on the military base, Carter Lake and Hillside, were the first two schools in the U.S. to be completed as a result of the federal Military Child Education Initiative. They opened last year.

Meriwether and Rainier are the third and fourth new Clover Park schools to receive funding from the Department of Defense and Washington state’s school construction assistance program. They replaced the old Greenwood and Clarkmoor elementary schools.

Both Meriwether, with a capacity of 450 students, and Rainier, built for 650 students, were constructed in new locations. Integrus was the architect, and Tacoma-based Korsmo Construction was the general contractor and construction manager.

Both schools are designed for collaborative learning, and both have new sports fields. Each facility was built with sustainability and energy efficiency as priorities.

Another JBLM elementary school, Beachwood, is currently under construction. Funding for Evergreen Elementary, which will be Clover Park’s sixth elementary school at the base south of Tacoma, is pending.

Parking for Wednesday’s event is limited, and carpooling is encouraged. Visitors can obtain passes at the JBLM-Lewis main visitors center, Interstate 5 exit 120. The visitor pass process may take longer on busy days, so plan accordingly.

For more information on the celebration, call the Clover Park School District community relations office at 253-583-5040.