Saturday, July 19, 2014

U.S. Dept. of Defense approves $34M grant to modernize two district schools

Department of Defense On July 16, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) approved a grant for more than $34 million to provide needed facility improvements at Hancock and Miller elementary schools in the Tierrasanta community. This DOD grant will be combined with approximately $8.6 million in existing Proposition Z bond funds for a total construction budget of nearly $43 million to perform repair, renovation and replacement work at the two schools.

This federal funding allows the district to replace more than 20 aging, portable classrooms with state-of-the-art permanent classrooms to achieve a more functional learning environment at Hancock and Miller. This will have a significant, positive impact, and supports the initiative to provide quality neighborhood schools.

"San Diego Unified's Vision 2020 calls for quality schools in every neighborhood," said Superintendent Cindy Marten. "This generous grant from the Department of Defense will help ensure that the students at Miller and Hancock elementary schools receive a world-class education in a state-of-the art learning environment."

"This is another example of how kids benefit when we collaborate with our community partners," added Kevin Beiser, president of the Board of Education. "We are pleased to work with the DOD and are grateful to receive this grant. We have a proud military tradition in San Diego, and we are glad to have the opportunity to give back to our service men and women by providing their children with the best possible learning environments."

Construction at Hancock and Miller is scheduled to start in spring 2016 and is estimated to be complete in late 2018. The schools will remain open while construction is underway. Construction phasing and other strategies will be employed to minimize disruptions to the teaching and learning environment.

Planned site improvements in the whole site modernizations will include:
  • Renovation of existing open classrooms 
  • Replace aging portables with single-story permanent classrooms 
  • Replace and enhance campus security, as well as fire and emergency safety systems 
  • Renovate and enhance existing heating ventilation and air conditioning systems 
  • Replace aging electrical systems and upgrade technology network infrastructure to support the i21 Interactive 21st Century Classroom Technology Initiative 
  • Repair and replace sidewalks including accessible ramps and stairs 
  • Renovate and upgrade food services areas 
On April 5, 2011, the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act was signed into law, authorizing the DOD to provide up to $250 million to construct, renovate, repair and expand elementary and secondary public schools located on military installations in order to address capacity or facility condition deficiencies.

Related links:
DOD News Release:
Hancock ES project info (scroll down to "Project Schedules"):
Miller ES project info (scroll down to "Project Schedules"):