By Sgt. 1st Class Norman Llamas
19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Public Affairs
DAEGU, South Korea – It’s not often that you get to witness the grand opening of a brand new school. As one can imagine, it’s an exciting occasion, for everyone. This was the case with the Daegu Middle High School which celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony that was appropriately held inside the brand new building, August 24. The school is located in Camp Walker, Daegu, Korea.
“Today we continue the rich tradition that has been Taegu American School, Daegu American School, and now Daegu Middle High School,” said Altorn Grade, DMHS principal. “This school has been in many locations and in many configurations. At one time we were the TAS Tigers. We are now the Warriors and we carry the name with pride, from posthumous Medal of Honor recipient, Charles George. We are developing future warriors to be college and career ready, socially responsible, and to flourish in a global community.”
The new school is a split level two story, DoDEA 21st Century Middle/High School that encompasses 142,583 square feet. DMHS’ construction began almost three years ago, September 2014 and was completed June 26, 2017.
“This day has been eagerly anticipated by our entire community,” said Maj. Gen. John P. Sullivan, the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command’s commanding general. “I would submit that, as you look around this tremendous facility, it was well worth the wait. The completion of this project is the result of much vision, planning, and hard work.”
DMHS will provide adequate academic facilities for 525 students in grades six to 12. The school includes site improvements such as visitor’s and staff parking, bus drop-off with covered walkway, landscaping, bicycle racks, artificial turf playing field, marquee board, flagpoles, exterior lighting, and utility service connections. Additionally, it has common areas with multipurpose gathering spaces, food service dining hall, and a dedicated performance space.
“As you look around Area IV, you can see a transformation taking place with the ongoing construction of the first two of what will be four housing towers here at Camp Walker,” said Sullivan. “New barracks and headquarters facilities at Camp Carroll, Waegwan, this new Middle/High School, and a new elementary School that is in the planning stages. All these new projects represent vast improvements in our quality of life here in area IV, as well as our strong commitment to the ROK-U.S. alliance.”
“Next week about 300 hundred students will begin walking our halls,” said Grade. “If needed, over 500 students can easily fit into this new 21st Century Facility. Classrooms are now studios and neighborhoods that are places where students take their learning to higher levels. Trust, respect and responsibility are themes that will permeate our focus and vision.”
Both Sullivan and Grade expressed their most sincere gratefulness to all those who were involved in making this project come to fruition. They both also thanked the many distinguished visitors who made the trip to be present during the ceremony.
Among the many present at the ceremony were, DoDEA Pacific West Superintendent Dr. Judith Allen, United States Forces Korea Director for Re-Stationing Maj. Gen. James Walton, Daegu City Vice Mayor Mr. Yoo, Jun-ha, Namgu District Mayor Mr. Yim, Byung-heon and the 19th ESC Cultural Advisors, Dr. Kim, Ik-dong, Mr. Sammy Shin, Mr. Kim, Byung-chan, Mr. Seo, Sang-si, and Dr. Kim, Bum-dae.
After the official ceremony was over, Principal Grade took many of the distinguished visitors for a tour around the new school.