Mobile School: Schooling began at the end of April this year in a modular timber structure on the Wolfsberg – in 2021, a move will be made to Trier-West
(Trier) A school whose architectural design could be an example to be followed: The modular timber complex located on the Wolfsberg hill was conceived to relieve the demand for space at the Integrated Comprehensive School (IGS in German). When its general refurbishment has been completed, this wooden structure is projected to be moved to the other side of the Mosel River, where it will house the future “Grundschule West” primary school.
Heinz Thomas, caretaker of the school centre on Wolfsberg, is presently „very excited“. So excited, in fact, that the 64 year old is „almost nostalgic“. His enthusiasm is supported by Trier’s most extensive municipal construction project at this time. Thomas’ workplace, the German integrated comprehensive school (IGS), has been undergoing a complete renovation in a two-phase process since 2014.
Schooling in containers. It certainly hasn’t been a bed of roses for those affected. 540 students and 40 teachers have had to live with, at best, provisional solutions. One part of the teaching takes place in containers – it is anticipated that the first object to be renovated, Building C (the previous Cusanus secondary school), will be available again in the spring of 2018. With this, an end to the space shortage is actually in sight. Since October of last year, a new structure is standing opposite to Building C. This three-storey building is composed of adjoining wooden modules. „It’s a great thing“, concludes Heinz Thomas, who is looking forward to the end of the Easter holidays: The 24th of April is foreseen for the first day of classes in the wooden structure, yet – and the reason for the nostalgia – the clock is counting down for the caretaker. He will be retiring after 26 years at the Wolfsberg facility, which, despite having had a fulfilling career, he „almost regrets. The way everything here is being renovated is really fantastic. And the wooden structure is in a class all its own.“ This is because it represents a completely new concept, as emphasized by the Lord mayor of Trier, Wolfram Leibe, project manager, Beatrix Maier and site manager, Sandra Stassen (both from the Dept. of Building Maintenance), during Thursday’s on-site press conference.
The school was manufactured and erected by the Ochs timber construction company (Kirchberg/Hunsrück) for 4.5 million Euros. It comprises 20 classrooms, as well as rooms for other training, lounge, administration, sanitary, technical and storage purposes. All the requirements related to structural statics, fire protection, sound protection, thermal insulation and accessibility have been fulfilled.
The new building is initially intended to house 150 students from the 10th and 11th grades, thereby replacing the need for containers. The building should be completely occupied following the summer break in 2018.
Future of the Gneisenau site at that time, restoration of the second, almost 50 year old school building on the Wolfsberg site can begin. This general renovation will cost up to 18.5 million Euros and be finished by 2021. The timber that was used to date will then have a new, permanent use. It will be transported to the other side of the Mosel River (most likely to the Gneisenaubering site), in order to house the “Grundschule West” primary school, ensuing from the fusion of the districts of Pallien and Reichertsberg. When compared to the current site, the combination of individual elements will change only slightly at the new location. „We are poor, but innovative“, remarks Lord mayor Leibe, who envisions further „moveable“ wooden structures in Trier – „such as child care centres. There is a great need for investment to be made here.“
„Standardized modularization“ is cost-efficient and fulfils all requirements. „We don’t have to reinvent every building.“ (Roland Morgen)
werk.um Architekten GbR, Darmstadt