By Antwaun Parrish
USACE-Far East District Public Affairs
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – A new elementary school will soon open up at Camp Humphreys. The school is part of many projects that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District is building within the area that will serve as the new headquarters for the United States Forces Korea.
Construction for the school began in June 2013 and was established for design construction agent (DCA) acceptance in Feb. 2017.
Myles Esmele, project engineer from the family housing resident office, worked as the project engineer for the development of the facility. He joined the project midway and felt a since of accomplishment as the school was ready to be handed over to the Department of Defense Educational Activity.
“I felt immersed in all aspects of it and of course I had a vested interest in the completion of the school,” said Esmele. “There’s no better feeling to see all the work you put into the project come to fruition as you’re handed the signed 1354 from real property.”
The project took a little more than four years to complete and during that time a few challenges arose.
“One of the challenges was getting into the project mid-stride; it’s common in overseas districts that many construction project delivery teams (PDTs) have members that come and go and I was no exception,” said Esmele.
“So on top of getting up to speed on the existing challenges, I had to prepare for any issues to come.”
The school completion was delayed due to variances in regulations between the two nations.
“Many of the comments mentioned in the inspection reports were related to several differences between Korean and American construction practices and it’s those small distinctions that can hold up turnover.”
Esmele said state-of-the-art equipment including smart boards, projectors and audio-visual equipment will also serve the student’s educational needs as the population at Camp Humphreys increases. The school is able to house about 875 students according to Esmele.
“Aside from accommodating a larger amount of students, it’s the capability to enroll in different schools,” said Esmele. “It may or may not happen at the K-6 level, but having friendly competition in sporting events down the line is a welcome notion.”
The turnover of the elementary school wasn’t done by any single person’s effort said Esmele.
“I’d just like to thank the entire PDT [Project Delivery Team], including former members for their contributions to a fantastic school.”
The school is scheduled to be ready for students by June 2017.