DODDS-Europe closing nine schools
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe will shut down nine schools at the end of the school year due to base closures and troop reductions.
School officials do not plan to close any more schools in the next two years, said Maggie Menzies, a DODDS-E spokeswoman, said Tuesday. After several years of school closings, the expected pause in closures mirrors a similar break in major troop and structure changes at bases in Europe. Last year, DODDS-Europe also closed nine schools.
Among the schools to go away will be Würzburg High School. On June 6, the school will hold a ceremony to mark the school’s closure after 54 years. Principal Walter Seely said it is disappointing to say goodbye to the beloved school and leave a community that many families have enjoyed being stationed in over the years.
“It’s very sad to see such a nice community leave,” said Seely, who has served as principal since 2001. “This is a nice place to live, especially for the families.”
At the height of the Cold War, Würzburg High was one of the biggest Defense Department schools in Europe. At its peak, the school boasted nearly 1,000 students. Today, there are about 160 students, Seely said. Some alumni are planning to travel from the U.S. to attend the closing ceremony. The school is selling black T-shirts to commemorate the event.
In addition to Würzburg High, other schools that will close:
Würzburg Elementary/Middle schoolGrafenwöhr Middle School, GermanyGaeta Elementary School, ItalyNeubruecke Elementary School, GermanyThe Heidelberg School District in Germany will close the most schools, with four shutting down:
Argonner Elementary SchoolHanau Middle/High SchoolDarmstadt Elementary/Middle SchoolDexheim Elementary SchoolAlthough Grafenwöhr Middle will close, the elementary school will remain open, Menzies said. Students from Schweinfurt who attended Würzburg High will attend high school in Bamberg next year, Seely said.