Department of Defense Education Activity

Sembach ES Groundbreaking Ceremony

Sembach ES Ground breaking with kids

SEMBACH, GERMANY — May 18, 2022 — In a ceremony this morning (May 18, 2022), leaders from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) - Europe, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Europe District and other project partners, broke ground on a 21st-century elementary school on Sembach Kaserne. The ceremony, hosted by Sembach Elementary School principal Ms. Martha Enyeart, featured speeches by DoDEA and USACE leaders, German construction contractor Wolf & Mueller, and other invited guests. The current student body serenated those in attendance with a song written specifically for the occasion.

We’re here today for the ceremonial ground breaking of another beautiful 21 Century school.  It will be the tenth 21st Century school in the Europe East District,” said Mr. Steve Sanchez, DoDEA-Europe East District Superintendent. “We’re proud of our students at Sembach ES and today marks the day when we begin building the kind of building they deserve.”

Currently scheduled to complete construction in April 2024., new two-story 21st Century Elementary School (K-5) is designed for approximately 350 students. The goal of DoDEA’s 21st Century school program is to transform DoDEA classrooms into spaces that employ technology in ways that improve teaching and learning. These schools leverage a neighborhood concept that encompasses a central Hub with 4 to 5 Learning Studios, a teacher collaboration area, small group rooms and one-to-one learning rooms. Moveable walls are used for maximizing the flexibility of space.

sembachesgroundbreaking This school is part of a larger, $1.6 billion design and construction program the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is delivering for our partners in DoDEA and for students here in Europe,” said Lt Col Dan Fox, USACE-Europe Deputy District Commander. “Because of that, I’ve had the chance to see some of the finished 21st Century concept schools and I have to say they are extremely impressive and something to be excited about.”

In addition to supporting the 21st-century teaching and learning model, the future school will incorporate sustainability and energy-saving concepts. These features include extensive use of natural light and energy-efficient lighting systems; window glazing to allow natural light in the building and access to outdoor views; efficient interior and exterior lighting systems, pumps and fans that result in annual energy cost saving when compared to a standard design; and, low-flow plumbing that is estimated to save thousands of gallons of water per year.