Edwards AFB Officially Completes Education Complex with Groundbreaking Ceremony > Edwards Air Force Base > News
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. —
The Department of Defense celebrates the grand opening of Desert Junior Senior High School at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) in Kern County, California today. The event completes a $180 million, 220,000 square foot replacement education complex in response to the Secretary of Defense prioritizing the location to address facility condition and capacity issues. The overall effort was made possible through the Public Schools on Military Installations Program of the Department’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation and will support the education of 1,600 K-12 students each year. .
Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation Director Patrick J. O’Brien said, “With the completion of this complex, our service members and the civilians and contractors who support them can rest assured that their dependents will have access to quality, state-of-the-art services.We are pleased to have enabled the completion of this 10+ year effort by the Muroc Unified School District in partnership with local Edwards AFB management and countless state officials during this period to meet these needs.
Muroc Unified School District, the local education agency, operates five schools on more than 550 square miles in Kern and San Bernardino counties. Three schools—Forbes Elementary, Desert Junior Senior High, and Irving L. Branch Elementary—are on Edwards Air Force Base and were replaced with support from the Local Defense Community Cooperation Office after being prioritized by the Secretary to Defense for improvement due to serious condition and capacity issues.
The district received $142.5 million in grants from the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, which was matched by $37.2 million from non-federal and local sources. These funds have helped address several serious condition and capacity issues, including expired building systems, seismic issues, foundation failures, localized flooding, and functional deficiencies in food services, information center, special needs and music.
Without the continued support and advocacy of Congress, the Department of the Air Force, community partnerships, service members and their families, the District, and the State of California, this project would not have succeeded.
“This new school is a reflection of the Muroc Joint Unified School District’s commitment to world-class education for our local communities,” notes Superintendent Kevin D. Cordes. We are proud of the collaborations and work that took place to make this vision a reality. .”
The new educational complex will significantly improve the quality of life for military dependents and families, aid in the recruitment and retention of pilots, and improve base mission readiness. It will also encourage retired pilots to stay and seek employment opportunities in nearby Palmdale, California, continuing support for the Edwards mission.