Ohio Firms to Design DoDEA Elementary School in Japan

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USACE selects the joint venture of Woolpert and KZF Design for its Kadena Elementary School project in Okinawa, which is part of the 21st Century Education Initiative.

We’re designing this school to accommodate all U.S. military and DoDEA requirements, ensuring that it’s constructable and maintainable in Japan.

The joint venture of Woolpert and KZF Design (WKZF JV) has been selected to design Kadena Elementary School, a pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade school for U.S. students whose parents are stationed at Kadena Air Base and other U.S. military bases in and around Okinawa, Japan.

The contract is through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Japan District, which is the construction agent acting for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). This project is part of the 21st Century Education Initiative, which is part of DoDEA’s recapitalization program to renovate or replace a majority of its schools worldwide.

WKZF JV was selected this summer to provide design and construction services for the schools serving U.S. military families in Japan. The joint venture is comprised of member firms Woolpert—a national architecture, engineering and geospatial firm headquartered in Dayton, Ohio—and KZF Design, which is an architecture, engineering, planning and interior design firm based in Cincinnati.

Kadena Elementary School will be 140,000 square feet and serve roughly 800 children.

“We’re designing this school to accommodate all U.S. military and DoDEA requirements, ensuring that it’s constructable and maintainable in Japan,” said Doug Brown, Woolpert program manager. “This is a complex project that marries what we’ve learned in the past with evolving design solutions and very specific geographical requirements.”

Brown noted that Okinawa’s heavy rainfall and active seismic conditions present inherent challenges, and employing Japanese methods and materials are key to making the project a success.

“We are fortunate that we can apply all of our experience with DoDEA schools to each new project, whether they’re in Japan or Kentucky,” said Brown, referencing the Barkley Elementary School that Woolpert designed in Fort Campbell, Ky., which was one of the first DoDEA 21st Century schools.

Woolpert was named the 2014 recipient of the USACE's Design Honor Award and the Building the Future Award for the design of the Barkley school.

The Kadena Elementary School project is slated to begin construction in the summer of 2017 and is expected to take about 24 to 26 months to complete.

About Woolpert
Woolpert is a national architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm that delivers value to clients by strategically blending engineering excellence with leading-edge technology and geospatial applications. With a dynamic R&D department, Woolpert works with inventive business partners like Google; operates a fleet of planes, sensors and unmanned aerial systems (UAS); and continually pushes industry boundaries by working with advanced water technologies, asset management, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and sustainable design. Woolpert’s mission is to help its clients progress—and become more progressive. For over 100 years and with more than 25 offices across the United States, Woolpert serves the needs of federal, state and local governments; private and public companies and universities; energy and transportation departments; and the United States Armed Forces. For more information, visit woolpert.com or call 937-531-1258.

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Jill Kelley
Woolpert
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