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The main entrance of Humphreys American School on Camp Humphreys, South Korea on April 4, 2013.

The main entrance of Humphreys American School on Camp Humphreys, South Korea on April 4, 2013. ( Armando R. Limon/Stars and Stripes)

SEOUL — Camp Humphreys, which is scheduled to house the bulk of U.S. soldiers in South Korea in three years, will have two new schools this fall.

Humphreys Central Elementary School and Humphreys High School will replace Humphreys American School, which currently serves kindergarten through eighth grades, and give the base its first secondary school, according to the Department of Defense Education Activity-Pacific.

Students who live at Humphreys but have been attending Osan American High School will transfer to the new high school, according to DODEA-Pacific spokesman Charly Hoff. Middle school students also will go there until Humphreys Middle School opens for the 2014-15 school year.

The South Korean government paid for the combined $81.3 million construction costs of the two schools, according to the Ministry of National Defense’s Relocation Office.

The opening of the new schools is the latest step forward in a massive, long-delayed relocation project that will eventually see nearly all U.S. Forces Korea troops stationed in installations south of Seoul.

The consolidation of U.S. forces into regional hubs was initially supposed to take place in 2008, but was postponed to 2012 and then 2016. Officials insist no further postponements are in sight.

“Everybody (is) thinking they’re going to be here for years and years to come, I think that’s not going to be true,” USFK commander Gen. James Thurman told a community forum in Seoul earlier this year.

The new high school includes a performing arts auditorium, digital art and music labs, a digital video studio and an indoor regulation marksmanship range for the Junior ROTC program. The athletic fields will be available for use by community organizations as well as the schools.

A total of three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school will eventually form the base’s education complex, with a projected enrollment of 4,675 students. The two other elementary schools are in various stages of planning and design, Hoff said.

A number of other changes for DODEA schools in South Korea are planned to coincide with the relocation:

Osan American Elementary School will be replaced in time for the 2016-17 school year. The current interim Daegu High School will be replaced with a new combined middle/high school for the 2016-17 school year. A new elementary school will replace Daegu American School in the next several years, although the date has not been determined. Once the move to Humphreys is completed, schools at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul and Casey Elementary School in Dongducheon, which opened in 2010, will close.Stars and Stripes’ Yoo Kyong Chang contributed to this story.

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