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Future Elementary School Named After Lakewood Fallen Four

A future Lakewood elementary school will honor the memory of the four police officers who lost their lives serving the community they loved.

On March 9, the Clover Park School Board selected the names of three schools under construction. The name of one of them - a school that was part of a construction bond that voters approved in 2010 and will consolidate two other elementary schools - will commemorate the memories of Lakewood Police Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Tina Griswold, Officer Ronald Owens and Officer Greg Richards.

The future school’s name: Four Heroes Elementary.

It’s a fitting name to describe the four officers. In a crime that the Lakewood community will never forget, Renninger, Griswold, Owens and Richards were murdered in 2009 by a gunman who was later killed by authorities.

In the years since their deaths, the Lakewood community has produced numerous remembrances and tributes for the Fallen Four, everywhere from Lakewood City Hall to the Lakewood Police Department. The future school -located next to the Lakewood Police Department - is another example of how the four officers will never be forgotten.

Four Heroes Elementary is scheduled to open by September 2015. The School District plans to recognize the name when it officially opens.

Here is the Clover Park School District's full release on Four Heroes Elementary and two future schools on Joint Base Lewis-McChord that also received names:

(Lakewood, Wash.) In action taken at its board meeting on March 10, the Clover Park School District (CPSD) Board of Directors selected the names of three elementary schools currently under construction.

Two new elementary schools will open next fall on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). One of the new schools is being built in the new Meriwether Landing housing area on JBLM-North and the other is located on JBLM-Main and will serve students currently attending Clarkmoor and Greenwood Elementary Schools.

Board members chose Meriwether Elementary as the name of the new school on JBLM-North. The Meriwether Landing housing area is divided into four neighborhoods, each corresponding to the Army’s history and rank structure. The landing’s name is a tip of the hat to Meriwether Lewis, the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition from 1804 to 1806.

The new elementary school located on JBLM-Main will be named Rainier Elementary, after Mt. Rainier, a visible landmark easily seen across JBLM.

Both of these new elementary schools on JBLM are funded by the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) and Washington state school construction Assistance program.

The third elementary school located off of Lakewood Drive near the district’s Auxiliary Services Center, is part of the 2010 voter-approved school construction bond for a new Hudtloff Middle School, a new Harrison Preparatory School and a new consolidated Oakwood and Southgate Elementary School. The name of the new elementary is Four Heroes Elementary. This name commemorates the four Lakewood Police Officers who were tragically killed in 2009. “Four Heroes” honors the four fallen Lakewood Police officers: Sergeant Mark Renninger and Officers Tina Griswold, Gregory Richards and Ronald Owens. The new school is located very close to the Lakewood Police Department headquarters.

“Each school being named had a committee made up of parents, staff and community members who followed the school board policy and procedures for naming facilities,” said CPSD superintendent Debbie LeBeau. “The committees were charged with recommending three to five names for school board consideration.”

“I know each committee took on this task very seriously and a lot of research was done,” said CPSD school board president Marty Schafer. “We thank you for your efforts. The board spent a lot of time discussing the school name options and made the best choices for all concerned.”

All of the new school names will be formally recognized at each school’s grand opening celebration. Meriwether and Rainier Elementary Schools are anticipated to open in late summer 2014 and Four Heroes Elementary is anticipated to open by September, 2015.