21st Century Schools

Ohio Firm Gets Contract To Modernize U.S. Defense Department Schools

Woolpert, an architectural and engineering firm based in Dayton, OH, has signed a new contract with the United States Department of Defense to design and manage construction of 180 schools the department operates around the world.

Woolpert has worked on the 21st Century Education project for the Defense Department since 2004. The re-signing of the contract will be on an annual basis with the option to continue it through 2018. The contract, worth about $10 million to Woolpert, will distribute an additional $50 million to other construction contractors around the world.

On the Defense Department's list of schools to renovate — some more than 50 years old — are 60 in the United States, 71 in Europe and 49 in Asia.

The redesigned school buildings will feature open, flexible spaces that can accommodate multiple learning and teaching styles. An example is the Barkley Elementary School at Fort Campbell, KY, which has won several design and sustainability awards.

Most of the work will be performed in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Defense Education Activities agency.

"Congress has made it a national priority to replace obsolete school facilities serving military families," said David Ziegman, Woolpert's military practice leader and vice president. "We're pleased to lend our firm's experience in school design and construction."

Earlier this month, Woolpert, which provides engineering and geospatial mapping services, became the first commercial entity to be allowed to fly unmanned systems for commercial uses and last month it won a $32-million contract to gather data for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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