Pushing the Envelope

Diamond Elementary School

Pushing the Envelope

The US Department of Defense is a massive organization. Overseeing the military departments of the Joints Chiefs of Staff as well as the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, the DoD employs over 3,000,000 employees across every time zone and in every climate.

A substantial number of these employees have young families; approximately 73,000 children of these military families attend a school operated by the US Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). DoDEA is committed to “ensuring that all school-aged children of military families are provided a world-class education that prepares them for postsecondary education and/or career success and to be leading contributors in their communities as well as in our 21st century globalized society.”

Designing the Future

With this ambitious mission and forward-looking curriculum, however, DoDEA still faces challenges common to just about every school district in the country: managing aging facilities, and determining how best to prepare for the future. Several years ago, DoDEA identified nearly 100 schools in need of renovation or replacement. In the process of facilities planning, DoDEA wanted not only to improve the school buildings, but also to create world-class learning environments for its students. LS3P has long been a passionate supporter of K-12 design excellence and DoDEA’s programs, so when DoDEA undertook a two-year visioning process to help develop Ed Specs for the system’s future, LS3P joined the team as leaders in K-12 design.

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