Some DODEA-Europe school construction projects canceled
By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 20, 2016
The Department of Defense Education Activity-Europe’s ambitious plan to renovate or replace about 70 percent of its schools due to poor or failing conditions has gone through some revisions since its launch in 2010.
Some construction projects have been outright canceled in response to military personnel or infrastructure changes.
The European Infrastructure Consolidation — the Pentagon’s plan to close 15 military installations across Europe as part of a sweeping reorganization of U.S. forces on the continent — took several proposed school replacements off the table.
For example, Rainbow Elementary School at Barton Barracks at U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach was no longer needed after it was announced the base would be returned to Germany. The old school closed at the end of last year.
The United Kingdom lost two school replacement projects due to force structure changes: Feltwell Elementary School at Royal Air Force Feltwell and Menwith Hill Elementary/High School at RAF Menwith Hill.
A school project at Lajes Field in Portugal was also canceled.
Plans for school construction at U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder, Germany, are currently on hold, said Russ Roberts, DODEA Europe chief of logistics. Baumholder was supposed to get a new elementary and middle/high school, but DODEA is waiting for the military to determine future troop numbers for the installation before proceeding, Roberts said.
Plans are still moving ahead to replace the schools on Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Spangdahlem Elementary School was to be remodeled and expanded, but those plans were withdrawn after project bids came back $6 million to $7 million over budget, officials said. A new plan was redrawn, and it calls for building a new school. Construction is projected to start in 2018 with completion expected in 2020.
The design for a new Spangdahlem middle/high school is complete, and bids should go out early this summer, DODEA-Europe officials said.