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Report: Defense Department Schools Need Major Renovations

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A new report from the Center for Public Integrity finds that 75 percent of schools on military installations are in dire need of replacement or repair.
iWatch, Center for Public Integrity via Youtube (http://youtu.be/5c4XXQHzNLQ)
A new report from the Center for Public Integrity finds that 75 percent of schools on military installations are in dire need of replacement or repair.

Kristen Lombardi is a reporter with the Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News, which compiled the report. She says three of these aging schools are on the Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. At one, Russell Elementary, "students endure relic air units that often break, busted water pipes, no fully accessible bathrooms," she says.

Lombardi says many schools weren't build to handle, for example, computers in classrooms. So there aren't a lot of electrical outlets, and teachers say fire marshals have cited them for using extension cords. Another problem is space, she adds.

"At Quantico Middle/High School they have decades-old trailers that are used as temporary classrooms," she says. "You can hear storms, you can hear the wind and rain, and it's quite loud and the trailers jostle the classroom."

Michelle Obama recently gave the commencement address at Quantico Middle/High School.

Lombardi says there are many teachers at military schools trying to overcome some of the these challenges.

"But they would also tell you that they see the physical strains of their school building piling on an unnecessary burden almost for these students in particular at a time when they're already facing so much," she says.

Lombardi says it would take almost $4 billion dollars to repair or replace the almost 200 buildings cited in the report. The Department of Defense Education Activity, the agency that oversees these schools, did not return calls for comment.

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