News: Around our Diverse Asia-Pacific Region

Corps begins work on $9.6 million school upgrade for military families at Yokota Air Force Base

Published Oct. 4, 2013
Dignitaries and guests from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan District; Hibiya Engineering; and the Department of Defense Education Activity’s Pacific region attend a traditional Jichinsai (Groundbreaking) ceremony at Yokota Air Force Base, Japan signaling the beginning of construction on a $9.6 million classroom upgrade project at Mendel Elementary School. The ceremony, administered by a Shinto chief priest before beginning construction, publicly expresses common wishes for safety and success during construction.

Dignitaries and guests from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan District; Hibiya Engineering; and the Department of Defense Education Activity’s Pacific region attend a traditional Jichinsai (Groundbreaking) ceremony at Yokota Air Force Base, Japan signaling the beginning of construction on a $9.6 million classroom upgrade project at Mendel Elementary School. The ceremony, administered by a Shinto chief priest before beginning construction, publicly expresses common wishes for safety and success during construction.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan District Project Engineer Ruel Binonwangan and Construction Representative Yoji Abe conduct a meeting to discuss foundation work in support of a new classroom facility at Mendel Elementary School, Yokota Air Force Base, Japan.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan District Project Engineer Ruel Binonwangan and Construction Representative Yoji Abe conduct a meeting to discuss foundation work in support of a new classroom facility at Mendel Elementary School, Yokota Air Force Base, Japan.

Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan District’s Safety Office meet with Yokota Resident Office Quality Assurance staff and Hibiya Engineering at the project site for a classroom upgrade at Mendel Elementary School to ensure that all safety measures are in place before beginning demolition. The $9.6 million project currently underway at Yokota Air Force Base, Japan, includes the construction of a new classroom facility, playgrounds and covered walkways to connect the new addition to surrounding buildings.

Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan District’s Safety Office meet with Yokota Resident Office Quality Assurance staff and Hibiya Engineering at the project site for a classroom upgrade at Mendel Elementary School to ensure that all safety measures are in place before beginning demolition. The $9.6 million project currently underway at Yokota Air Force Base, Japan, includes the construction of a new classroom facility, playgrounds and covered walkways to connect the new addition to surrounding buildings.

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.


Release no. 13-044