For Immediate Release
Date: May 10, 2024

Public Affairs Officer


(314) 545-1518

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Baumholder Elementary School

Baumholder Elementary School rendering

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)- Europe, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Europe district, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz and local government and construction officials are scheduled to hold a groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of the new Baumholder Elementary School on May 29, 2024.

The ceremony, hosted by the current Smith Elementary School administration, will feature remarks from DoDEA, USACE and USAG Rheinland-Pflaz leaders, as well as the Host Nation Bauamt LBB Idar Oberstein.

Construction was awarded in December 2023 and is currently scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2027. The 21st-century school will serve preschool through fifth grade and is designed for a standard population of approximately 700 students. Baumholder Elementary School costs approximately $64.7 million to build. The school has flexible space with a total square footage of 135,200, transforming the traditional school to a global-classroom concept.

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 of learning studios, a teacher collaboration area, small group rooms and one-to-one learning rooms. Moveable walls are used for maximizing flexible space; its adaptability will accommodate future changes as programs evolve and grow.

Baumholder Elementary School rendering
Baumholder Elementary School rendering.

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 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.

Baumholder Elementary School will replace Smith Elementary School once it is completed. Smith Elementary School was established in 1952 and had its grand opening on January 24, 1953. The school is named after Captain Harold D. Smith, an honored soldier of WWII. Today, Smith ES serves students of military and civilian personnel of the local U.S. military communities of Smith Barracks and Ramstein Air Base. Students come to Smith ES from the base housing of Smith Barracks, Wetzel Housing, and local German communities in the bus zoning villages of Smith ES and Baumholder Middle/High School.


For any questions pertaining to DoDEA Europe please contact the Public Affairs Office at +49-0611-143-545-1518.

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