The Department of Defense announced a $1,125,480 grant from the Office of Economic Adjustment to the Muroc Joint Unified School District, North Edwards, Calif., to expand and renovate Branch Elementary School on base.
MJUSD will manage a $1,406,850 project, consisting of $1,125,480 grant funds and a non-federal share of $281,370, to complete the design plans and specifications to expand and renovate the school to provide a 913-student school on Edwards AFB serving grades K through six.
This award will enable the design phase of the project to move forward while the school district continues its efforts, in collaboration with the State of California, to obtain state design approval, finalize firm construction costs and secure matching funds for the construction phase of the project. The project will remedy capacity and facility condition deficiencies that placed Branch Elementary School as the eighth school on the July 2011 Deputy Secretary of Defense “Public Schools on Military Installations Priority List.”
“We’re excited to learn of the approval of the Federal grant from the Office of Economic Adjustment to the Muroc Joint Unified School District,” said Brig. Gen. Michael T. Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander. “Team Edwards has worked closely with the school district and the Office of Secretary of Defense to make this project possible. We thank Senator Kevin McCarthy (R., 22nd Congressional District) and the Congress for the grant, and we thank the school district for arranging the mandated matching funds to pave the way for success.”
This is a big win for the district, which serves the surrounding communities of Boron, North Edwards along with Edwards AFB. MJUSD operates four schools: two comprehensive junior-senior high schools; and two K-6 elementary schools. Two of the four are on Edwards – Branch Elementary and Desert Junior-Senior High.
The majority of the District facilities are at least 50 years old and Brewer said this project will go a long way in improving the overall health of the district’s facilities.
The school funding is from a $500 million program authorized by Section 8109 of Public Law 112-10, the DOD and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, and Section 8118 of Public Law 112-74, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012, to construct, renovate, repair or expand public schools located on military installations. OEA, in making the school funds available, must give priority consideration to those military installations with schools having the most serious capacity or facility condition deficiencies as determined by the Priority List. A multi-disciplined Federal Evaluation Team, with membership from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, the Military Services, U.S. Department of Education, and OEA reviewed the school project to ensure the award appropriately addresses the noted capacity and facility condition deficiencies.