SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- The Department of Defense released results of an Educational Facilities Review, Aug. 30, which assessed the physical condition and capacity of 157 of 160 public schools on military installations.

Based on the assessment, Hale Kula Elementary School, here, was identified as one of the first Hawaii schools chosen to apply for a portion of a $250 million educational grant.

The DOD grant helps ensure that public schools on military installations are providing high-quality environments. Funding is provided "to make grants, conclude cooperative agreements or supplement other federal funds to construct, renovate, repair or expand elementary and secondary public schools on military installations," according to provisions in Section 8109 of Public Law 112-10, which is the "Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011."

The appropriations are available through the Office of Economic Adjustment to address capacity or facility condition deficiencies at schools.

In January 2011, ALPHA Facilities Solutions visited and conducted assessments on facility conditions and capacity at five schools on Army posts in Hawaii: Hale Kula Elementary, Solomon Elementary, Wheeler Elementary, Wheeler Middle and Shafter Elementary schools.

Schools receive their ranking based on their physical condition in a scale of one to four, with four being the worst. Some physical items assessed are electrical, plumbing, structural exterior, roofing, interior flooring system, parking availability and lighting.

Hale Kula Elementary School received a ranking of three for the facility's physical conditions.

In the capacity assessment, Hale Kula's enrollment was also high. The school had 939 students in school year 2010-2011 -- 37 percent over capacity. Its capacity should be 684, according to the Department of Defense Education Activity, or DODEA.

Hale Kula currently has 962 students enrolled and this number fluctuates daily.

These combined assessments resulted in Hale Kula being one of the first schools able to apply for the grant.

DOD is committed to ensuring that all children of military families have the opportunity for a quality education. One of the prerequisites for meeting this goal is to ensure that school facilities contribute to student achievement by providing safe and functionally adequate learning environments.

Leaders from Hale Kula Elementary School, U.S. Army Hawaii, and Hawaii's Department of Education have been invited to a Public Schools on Military Installations Orientation Meeting, Oct. 4-5, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va., to discuss the grant application process.

Hawaii's Army and DOE will work together to make certain that the four remaining Army on-post schools at Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter submit complete applications and receive funding in the near future.

(Editor's Note: Content compiled from DOD news releases.)

Page last updated Thu September 15th, 2011 at 00:00