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Update on Current Construction and Re-Districting Plans for Okinawa Schools

Pacific South District Office
Kadena AFB, Okinawa | April 22, 2019


Subject: Update on Current Construction and Re-Districting Plans for Okinawa Schools

This is an update to a memorandum with the same title that was distributed by schools to parents and stakeholders on 21-FEB-2019. This is the final update for SY '19/20.

The possibility of redistricting the Okinawa schools has been a topic under review for the last two years. This review was driven by several factors that include: 1) the construction projects that are part of the DoDEA 21st Century Schools program and 2) shifts in populations related to changing availability of housing on the island.

In all instances, we try to minimize disruptions that impact families and students and we also want to ensure that students are being educated in the best facilities possible while also minimizing the time students spend on buses to and from the school location.

    The DoDEA 21st Century Schools construction program is a wide-ranging and long-term program that is summarized here:

Amelia Earhart IS - this school will eventually be replaced with the new Amelia Earhart ES. The projected start date for this project is after 2024.

Bechtel ES - this school is scheduled for a renovation/construction project on the current site. This project requires the relocation of the entire school population for a period of four years when the project comes on line. An ongoing review of plans, redesign factors and contractor bidding patterns for our MILCON projects indicates to us that this project cannot be adve11ised and awarded during SY '19/20. As a result, Bechtel ES will operate as it currently exists. The additional time will be used to review and revise the project so it can be successfully awarded.

Bob Hope PS - the replacement for Bob Hope PS is currently under construction at the old Kadena ES site. The new school will be Bob Hope Elementary School. This school is currently scheduled for completion in January of 2022 with occupancy to occur in the fall of 2022.

Kadena ES - The construction of this 21st Century School was completed and the school was occupied in February 2018.  

Kadena HS - This project has been put 'on hold' and is scheduled for construction sometime after 2025.

Kadena MS - There was renovations of the Kadena MS facility - completed and occupancy took place in the middle of School Year 2017-2018.

Killin ES - This project is underway. The discovery and subsequent removal of unexploded ordnance delayed the project. The ordnance has been removed and the construction is back under way with a completion of the project in the Spring of 2022.

Kinser ES - At this time there is no plan for any replacement or renovation of the Kinser ES facility.

Kubasaki HS - The replacement for Kubasaki HS is/was scheduled for the old Zukeran ES site. Bids received were in excess of the programmed amount and the project was put 'on hold' for the time being. Repair, maintenance and sustainment funds are going to be used to upgrade the existing facility and extend the life of the facility for eight to ten years. These actions are underway at this time.

Lester MS - The replacement for Lester MS is a project that is being financed and constructed through the Government of Japan in the Kishaba housing area. Start and completion times are unknown at this time. The current Lester MS will continue to operate on the current site until this project is completed.

Ryukyu MS - Ryukyu MS opened in 2008. This school will remain 'as is' and could be used to provide some needed 'swing space' for other school populations during future construction projects.

Stearley Heights ES - This school will eventually disappear at the end state when Kadena Air Base will have three elementary schools (Amelia Earhart ES, Bob Hope ES and Kadena ES instead of the current two elementary schools (Kadena ES and Stearley Heights ES) one primary school (Bob Hope PS) and one intermediate school (Amelia Earhart IS). There is no firm date as to when this will occur.

Zukeran ES - Construction of this 21st Century School is completed and the school opened in August 2018.


Redistricting Plan Summary

The information provided in the above summary significantly changes the redistricting plan that was distributed to stakeholders on 25-FEB-2019.

Simply put, there will be no redistricting of any schools on Okinawa for SY '19/20. Attendance zones will remain as they currently exist.

There will be a change to the 'hotel schools' that serve the incoming families staying in temporary lodging on either Kadena Air Base of Camp Foster. The 'hotel schools' for Kadena Air Base will be:

  • Elementary Schools - Bob Hope PS and Amelia Earhart IS
  • Middle School - Ryukyu MS
  • High School - Kadena HS

For incoming families on Camp Foster (West Pac Lodging) the 'hotel schools' will be:

  • Elementary School - E.C. Killin ES
  • Middle School - Lester MS
  • High School - Kubasaki HS

I hope that this message provides a more complete picture of where we are headed with the current construction programs we have in place for schools and the fact that previously published redistricting plans have been put on hold for SY '19/20.

Questions can be directed to the undersigned via e-mail at



Michael J. Thompson

District Superintendent



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