By Mr. Kenneth Fidler (IMCOM)July 30, 2008
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea Two of Yongsan's school expansion projects are nearing completion and new ones are just starting as the comprehensive plan to make room for an estimated 150 additional children moves forward.
A six-classroom building for middle school students is just about finished, and the cafeteria expansion project should be done by early August.
Construction workers started last week clearing out space for additional parking, and work is just beginning on two expanded drop-off lanes for the elementary school.
"The projects are coming along very well considering all the rain we've had," said Bryan Dorrough, Yongsan Public Works Construction Inspection Branch chief. "Final inspection for the classroom was July 24, so it should be ready by Aug. 1 once we fix any discrepancies."
The increase in students comes as more families are moving to Korea this summer as part of a plan by U.S. Forces to increase command sponsorship tours.
Yongsan's additional 150 students are mainly elementary and middle school children. Middle school students, mostly eighth-graders, will use the new classroom building, which was built on the parking lot in front of the Seoul American High School Falcon Gym.
The middle school cafeteria is used by all three schools and scheduling lunch periods was always a challenge, with some lunch periods not beginning until 12:40 p.m., school officials have said. The project will add 144 seats to the current 350-seat capacity and allow for a more normal lunch period schedule.
Other on-going projects include:
• Adding parking spaces near elementary school. Construction workers have already leveled out space for about 51 additional parking spaces. Work is expected to be finished before school starts Aug. 25. A one-way exit lane will be added along the perimeter fence behind the lot.
• New drop-off lanes. The current drop-off lane in front of the elementary school will be expanded to two lanes and its length increased by about 30 meters. Another drop-off lane is planned along X Corps Drive with capacity for about eight cars.