TOWER BARRACKS, Germany – U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria celebrated the official opening of the new Grafenwoehr Elementary School with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 12 at Tower Barracks.
The construction for the new Department of Defense Education Activity Europe Region school building began back in 2018 and concluded April 2023.
On what was coincidently the first day of school for all Bavarian schoolchildren, the new school was officially opened.
“Today is significant for so many reasons," said Dr. Michelle Howard-Braheney, director for Student Excellence, DoDEA-Europe. "With this new, beautiful facility we have taken an important step in securing the future of a school and ensuring the DoDEA vision of providing excellent education for every student, every day, everywhere.
“We look forward to seeing all the successes the students will have on their learning journey at GES,” she continued.
The new school is 95,000 square feet and has a capacity for 400 students. Currently, 281 students are attending the Grafenwoehr Elementary School.
In total, $37.5 Million were invested in the construction for the facility.
“The Department of Defense has committed to ensuring that all military children are provided a world-class education wherever they call home,” said Brig. Gen. Steven Carpenter, commanding general of the 7th Army Training Command.
During the ceremony, Col. Dan Kent, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District commander, presented a ceremonial key of the school to the principal, Michael De Francesco.
“Projects like this don’t happen without a great team, all working together," said Kent. "And I want to recognize and thank our key partners in delivering this project.”
The ceremony ended with guest speaker Merrel Deadmond, fifth grade student, explaining why this school is so special to him.
This is the 16th new DoDEA school the US. Army Corps of Engineers has built in Europe since 2010. In the next 7 years, 12 more schools and support facilities are planned.