The Wiesbaden community celebrated the beginning of construction on the third and final school to be built on Hainerberg with a groundbreaking ceremony Feb. 14.
Europe District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and partners Department of Defense Education Activity-Europe, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, the German construction agency and contractors Wolff and Müller and Peter Gross are building the third 21st-century school, Wiesbaden Elementary School, on the site of the old middle school, which had to be demolished before construction could begin.
Planned for a capacity of 700 students from prekindergarten to fifth grade, the programmed amount for the two-story facility is approximately $58 million and more than 112,000 square feet. A 21st-century school design transforms traditional schools into a global classroom concept. Learning studios encompass several class areas called learning hubs that have moveable walls, creating flexible and adaptable spaces.
The school design includes the renovation of the existing multipurpose room. There will be an art room, a music room and high-tech computer labs. The sustainable features include efficient interior and exterior lighting systems, pumps, fans and the building envelope will save almost 50 percent annual energy cost when compared to a standard design. Low-flow plumbing will result in an estimated savings of more than 300,000 gallons of water per year.
Cambrey Torres, a district project manager who started working on the school project a year ago, said she is excited about the schools because her children attend them.
“The elementary school staff has embraced the construction, discussing it with the students,” she said. “They’re anticipating the new school, even with the spirit wear. The school mascot, a dachshund is wearing a safety hat.”
Residents on Hainerberg have shown “remarkable” patience during the construction of these schools, said Mike Voich, who is the district’s DoDEA-Europe program manager and has oversight on all DoDEA-Europe construction.
“The residents have had constant construction since we started building the new high school,” he said. “The construction bubble has changed a couple of times, so access to roads has changed. It’s been a challenge for those who live on Hainerberg, but we’re starting to see the end of the tunnel, which is three 21st-century schools for our children in a beautiful, park-like campus setting.”
Sibylle Ballnath, a district project manager who has worked on the project since the planning began, said the idea for a green space was always part of the initial planning.
“I think planning this green space to unite the three schools shows great foresight on behalf of the garrison and DoDEA,” Ballnath said.
“And when the last phase is complete, there will be a beautiful green space that will be a beautiful park-like setting for the schools and the community,” she said.