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Budget deal steers $36m to Hanscom for new school

WASHINGTON -- The primary school at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford is a step closer to a new home.

As part of the $1.012 trillion spending deal signed by President Obama Friday, $36 million is slated to build a new Hanscom Primary School. The measure allows funding for the government through Sept. 30.

The building money is part of a two-pronged effort to update Hanscom’s two schools, which serve the children of active military duty personnel living on Hanscom Air Force Base. The new primary school will enroll 450 Hanscom students in kindergarten through third grade, based on estimates for the 2016 academic year, said Patty Welsh, spokeswoman for the Hanscom Air Force Base.


Replacing the schools — each about 50 years old — is more economical than continuing to pay for repairs, Welsh said.

“Undersized classrooms, inadequate facilities, and poorly configured buildings reduce efficiency and fail to meet the standards of the local school system,” Welsh told the Globe in a statement.

A contract to build a new Hanscom Middle School was awarded in December. The Department of Defense Education Activity made the decision to replace the middle school first.

In 2011, Hanscom Middle School received $34 million from the federal government for a new facility. Both the primary and middle schools are entirely supported by the federal government.

Senator Edward J. Markey and Senator Elizabeth Warren, the two Massachusetts Democrats, commended the funding for the primary school Thursday.

“The students of soldiers and staff at Hanscom Air Force Base will soon be able to study and succeed at a new school built for the 21st century,” Markey said in a statement.

The Senate passed the spending bill 72-26 Thursday night, a little more than 24 hours after the House approved it by 359-67. The package adds detail to the budget deal framework Congress passed last month, following the 16-day partial government shutdown in October.


Kimberly Railey can be reached at kimberly.railey@globe.com.