The European School in Templin is becoming a reality
Hundreds of pupils will be able to attend a school that will allow them to explore the diverse culture of Europe and develop into committed Europeans.Even before the federal government pledged to provide funds of €30 million, we finalised the architectural master plan and got ready to carry out renovation work on the roofs. We had a record number of visitors on Heritage Day. It is becoming very clear that the est will be a stand-out educational project for the Berlin-Brandenburg region. The support of the State of Brandenburg has been particularly important in securing the federal government grant, and we are very grateful to the political representatives of Brandenburg for recognising the significance of our project.
A breakthrough for the est: A €30 million federal grant
In late November, the members of the German Bundestag’s Budget Committee agreed to provide a grant of €30 million for the renovation of our listed school buildings. The federal funds are earmarked for the appropriate restoration of the historic ensemble. The State of Brandenburg is being asked to contribute a suitable sum towards that. With this step, we reached an important milestone on the road towards being able to open the school in the 2024/25 academic year.
Renovations begin on roofs and tea pavilion
We are currently inviting bids for the renovation of the roofs of two boarding school dormitories (Houses V and VI). The funding for that amounts to €900,000. Half of that sum has come from a federal monument preservation programme, while the other half has been provided by Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz, the City of Templin and private donors. We have also continued work on renovating the interior of the little tea pavilion.
We made use of the lockdown last spring to make progress on the construction plans. That put us in a position to present the architectural master plan on Heritage Day last September. The plan had already been approved by the monument protection authorities. The original school was designed for almost 200 pupils. We are planning for around 450 pupils, around 300 of them boarders from across Europe. For that reason we will also need new buildings that are suitably incorporated into the rest of the ensemble. These will include a science and technology building, a new auditorium, a canteen, a conservatory, a new gymnasium and a quiet room.
Our fundraising target for 2021
Our minimum fundraising target for 2021 is €5 million. That sum will cover the upcoming costs for the architectural and technical planning that cannot be covered by the federal grant. But we also need to adapt the foundation’s operations to the altered circumstances. In order to achieve our ambitious goal of opening a small but fully functioning part of the school in 2024, we will require as much as €18 million in funding over the coming years, predominantly from private sources.
“School of tomorrow” workshop series
Because of the pandemic, we were forced to continue our workshops virtually. Thankfully, we could count on the continued support of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Karl Schlecht Foundation. That meant we were able to continue discussing with renowned experts about the opportunities and challenges of founding a new school and consider from all angles the “great leap forward” that we hope to achieve with the est. Topics have included teacher training, pupils’ personal development, educational opportunities for all, and digital education.
Record visitor numbers at Heritage Day on 13 September
Throughout that day we welcomed a total of around 800 enthusiastic visitors – naturally in compliance with government rules on hygiene, masks and social distancing. Tours of the site, films, and exhibitions gave insight into how our plans are progressing, and entertainment was provided with live music.
Süddeutsche Zeitung article and the new website
In September, German national newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote an article about the est entitled “Denkmal mit Zukunft”. The article (German only) can be accessed at https://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/europa-in-brandenburg-denkmal-mit-zukunft-1. In the summer we launched a new website, featuring our new logo. You can visit the site at www.est.eu/en. We welcome any comments and suggestions you may have.
Photos: Tom Schweers and Matthias Benzig (photo for record visitor numbers)