GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — U.S. Army leadership and school officials are set to break ground Nov. 20 on the Grafenwoehr Elementary School.


Department of Defense Education Activity — the agency overseeing U.S. military schools overseas — is funding the $38 million project.


The new school is scheduled to open for the 2021 school year.


The present school building was built in 1946 with two minor additions in 1960 and 1998. It doesn’t meet DoDEA’s education facilities specifications or the current federal energy and sustainability mandates.


The new design transforms the traditional school setting to a global classroom concept in a multistory facility, which includes learning studios, learning hubs, flex laboratories, music rooms and shared common spaces. Because of this adaptability, traditional classrooms are no longer part of the design, said project manager John Templeton, Europe District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District.


The new school will boast systems to provide real-world relevance and examples to reinforce the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum.


Additionally, sustainability and energy-saving concepts are designed in these buildings to save taxpayer dollars and help preserve environmental resources for future generations. The features include: low-flow plumbing to reduce water use by more than 38 percent as compared to a standard design; an estimated 47 percent or more energy savings, which result in an anticipated savings of more than $40,000 annually for the life of the project; and, more than 93 percent of occupied space will have direct views to the outdoors.


These design standards will have an anticipated lifespan of nearly 50 years, according to DoDEA.


The Nov. 20 ceremony will take place on Tower Barracks beginning at 3 p.m. in the vicinity of the new school along Johnson Street.