1SG Samuel K. Solomon Elementary School held a dedication ceremony to mark the completion of its new two-story, four-building school complex. The campus includes 63 new classrooms, a student support center, two computer labs, an audio/video room, a covered playcourt, cafeteria and administrative offices, along with new entrance driveways on both sides of campus and more than 170 parking stalls. The dedication also commemorates the school’s 50th anniversary.
“From the increased support services now available to our students and their families to the community engagement offered through an onsite farm-to-school program, the connectivity and collaboration provided by this new and improved campus is truly exciting,” said Deputy Superintendent Phyllis Unebasami.
After breaking ground in summer 2017, construction took place in phases to replace the former campus with new state-of-the-art facilities. The project was funded by a grant from the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment for approximately $70 million. State funding provided nearly $20 million for the remaining 20% of the total project cost.
“This school is proof that we can do great things when we work together. It took a team of federal, state, community and military partners to make this 21st century school a reality,” said Gov. David Ige. “Our military families can be confident that their children will be learning in a state-of-the-art school equipped with the tools to excel academically.”
Originally opened in 1969, Solomon Elementary is one of two public elementary schools located on Schofield Barracks, a U.S. Army installation, and serves mainly military-dependent students from families with members serving in Army units. It currently serves over 760 K-5 students.
“Solomon Elementary is a shining example of how great partnerships can work between the U.S. Army and our state and local communities,” said Maj. Gen. James Jarrard, Senior Commander, 25th Infantry Division. “This wonderful partnership and investment between the Department of Defense and the Hawaii Department of Education is an invaluable contribution to our children’s futures for years to come.”
The school is named after 1SG Samuel K. Solomon, Jr., a Hawaii-born enlisted member of the 25th Infantry Division Wolfhounds. 1SG Solomon earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for his courageous effort in saving wounded members of his company in the Vietnam War. As 1SG Solomon was carrying wounded men to safety, he was hit by gunfire and killed in action. The school was officially dedicated as 1SG Samuel K. Solomon Elementary School on Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, 1969.