Building begins on eco-friendly Grafenwoehr school
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — U.S. Army and civilian community leaders plunged shovels into the dirt, marking the start of construction on a $38 million elementary school on Tuesday at the Army’s largest training area in Germany.
The Army Corps of Engineers and German contractors will build the new school, set to open for the 2021 school year.
The current elementary school on post was built in 1946, with two minor additions in 1960 and 1998. It does not meet Department of Defense Education Activity facility specifications or current federal energy use mandates.
The new facility will feature include energy-efficient concepts designed to save money and preserve environmental resources, said Col. Adam Boyd, the garrison commander.
The features include low-flow plumbing to reduce water use by more than a third compared to current use. It will lower energy costs by almost half, for an anticipated cost savings of more than $40,000 annually.
The new school will also include modernized laboratories, music rooms and shared common spaces, Boyd said.
“Because of this adaptability, traditional classrooms are no longer part of the design,” the Army said in a statement.
The design standards of the school have an anticipated lifespan of nearly 50 years, according to DODEA authorities.