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Posted 10/4/2013

Release no. 13-044


By Rashida Banks
USACE, Japan District

YOKOTA, Japan - A $9.6 million project currently underway at Yokota Air Force Base, Japan, will provide children of military service members attending Joan K. Mendel Elementary School with a new state-of-the-art classroom facility, courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan District.

The project will provide a new 15,359 square-foot permanent facility to accommodate kindergarten and preschool age students with special needs in the Sure Start and Preschool Children with Disabilities (PSCD) program. The facility will house one PSCD and one Learning Impaired Moderate/Severe room, five kindergarten, and two pre-school classrooms. Each will include shared toilets, kitchens, patios, laundry, and storage rooms.

“The new facility will replace temporary classrooms constructed in 2003,” said USACE Japan District Project Manager Michael Mercado.

When completed, the facility will include new playgrounds and covered walkways to connect the new addition to surrounding buildings. Other amenities include cabinets, counters, classroom sinks, storage closets, tack boards, whiteboards, coat racks/cubby units, heating and air conditioning, closed circuit and cable television systems, intercom/public address system, clock-bell system, telephone system, and a local area network system.

“Because the project is surrounded by other school facilities and a chapel, teamwork and close coordination is required during construction to ensure safety and to minimize interruptions to students during the school year,” said Ruel Binonwangan, USACE Japan District project engineer. 

Operated by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA), Mendel Elementary School serves 500 students grades preschool to fifth. With a comprehensive pre-kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum, DODEA schools serve the children of military service members and eligible Department of Defense civilian employees throughout the world.

The new facility was designed in accordance with DODEA Education Facility Specifications. It will meet all U.S. life safety and force protection standards, and be completely accessible to individuals with disabilities. Additionally, the facility will meet the Silver rating criteria established by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, in accordance with the U.S. Green Building Council standards. Eco-friendly features include the use of energy efficient building materials, day-lighting, views, thermal comfort and indoor air quality, and a photovoltaic system.

The project is scheduled for completion in July 2015.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan Engineer District provides comprehensive professional quality engineering and construction services to all US Forces in Japan in support of peacetime and contingency operations. The district serves approximately 85 installations throughout Japan and Okinawa. In addition to the Host Nation Funded Construction and U.S. Military Construction programs, the Japan Engineer District is a leader in providing installation support and environmental expertise to customers throughout Japan. To learn more about the district, visit www.poj.usace.army.mil.