Gymnasium Oberursel – A Grammar School with a Future

For the past few years there has been a building site in the Berliner Straße while work was carried out on the Grammar School (Gymnasium).  At times the road was closed to traffic or narrowed.  The pupils were split across three locations.  And I learnt a new word – the green strips on the dark grey façade are called “Einsprengsel”.

But now the work is over and the school proudly opened up their new buildings to the public last Saturday, during which the key was ceremoniously handed over by the architects.

The morning began with the headmaster, Volker Räuber, welcoming the guests and highlighting the positive aspects of the new buildings: more space, modern IT connections to allow children to carry on working on projects at home, a large hall with professional sound and lighting, a media library, and three underground sports courts.  “Oberursel Grammar School is a school of the future”, he said, continuing “some other schools in the area can only dream of buildings like these”.  He also thanked the neighbours for their patience during the building phase.

He was followed by district administrator (Landrat) Ulrich Krebs, who made the point that “at the end of the day, it is money from taxes that we are spending here”.  The building work cost around €60 million, with the buildings themselves designed to cater for 1,600 pupils and last for 80 years.  He was particularly proud of the fact that the hall is large enough to hold a Fastnachtssitzung, something that is not always the case in many school halls.

The grammar school symphony orchestra

Other speakers included Oberursel’s Mayor, Hans-Georg Brum, who commended the district government (Kreis) on their courage to invest in the future, and commented that the needs of the pupils were central to the building concept.

The parents’ representative, Mechthild Fischer, said that the school was on the way to becoming an all-day school, whilst the pupils’ speaker, Martin Müller, talked about the difference between the old and new buildings.  “It has been worth the wait”, he said.

Throughout the proceedings musicians from the school entertained the guests, and after a recital of “The Conquest of Paradise” and “Chariots of Fire” it was time for the keys to be handed over.

Representatives from the architects, v-architekten gmbh, pointed out that the school was now like a small town, after which they handed over a large key to the headmaster, accompanied by the Landrat.

The key handover at the opening of the grammar school extension

Finally, the new buildings were blessed by representatives of the Evangelical and Catholic churches, before the guests headed off to see what the new rooms have to offer.

And very modern those rooms are tool, with office-type adjustable chairs for the pupils and smartboards which act light giant touchscreens.  The window sills have been designed to be used as seating areas along the sides of the rooms.  The lockers are new and have combination locks.

But surely one of the most impressive pieces of the complex is the sports hall with its three courts.  Not only does it have a massive floor space, but that floor is two stories underground.

With those sorts of facilities, the school really does appear to have a bright future.

(Click to enlarge)


About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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