The North Darmstadt Vocational Training Center will become an appealing and modern location for vocational education — now and in the future. Its learning spaces will become larger, brighter and more digital. The site will also house a media library and the building complexes will be directly connected to the nearby Bürgerpark. A canteen—which will also be open to the public—will act as an important communication hub. The general restoration and modernization project will forge closer connections between the school and the city. All work will take place while the school is open to students. The project is high on the political agenda in the science and research city of Darmstadt; around 126 million euros will be invested into the site.
The general restoration and modernization of the North Darmstadt Vocational Training Center will take place in three phases, starting with the removal of hazardous materials. Arcadis is managing the entire project and each of the three phases. Central to this process will be communication and coordination with 15 planners and 77 contractors. Arcadis is also acting as the tenderer and is coordinating the award of the construction contracts in a digital tender procedure. The project is one of the largest construction projects currently underway in Darmstadt.
Project management: Timings and budget on track
The first part of the new North Darmstadt Vocational Training Center opened at the start of the 2020/2021 school year, Approximately 8,700 m² of attractive new learning space is being provided for students. With a building time of 25 months and a cost of 27.5 million euros, the project is on track and within budget.
Space for a new learning and teaching culture
The new building incorporates a new entrance area, a foyer with adjacent auditorium, classrooms, creative spaces and an administrative area for evening classes. The boards in the new classrooms are fully digital and interactive; they can be used for everything from writing and drawing to watching movies. From the outset, a key focus of the general restoration project—initiated by developer Darmstädter Stadtentwicklungs GmbH (DSE)—was to create a framework for a new learning and teaching culture. Close collaboration between the parties involved in the project and construction process and each individual school was—and remains—high on the agenda.
The second phase of construction work, which involves hazardous material removal, preparation for demolition, demolition and facade work, is currently underway and is due for completion by June 2021. The interior will be finished by April 2022. The new canteen is scheduled for completion in March 2021.
For young people in Darmstadt and the surrounding regions, the general restoration and modernization of the three schools will create an attractive space for learning that is directly connected to the Bürgerpark by its attractive landscaped grounds. Communication between the school and wider society is encouraged with the addition of a new canteen that is open to all. Digitalization is a key theme running through the project: from the electronic tendering procedure managed by the Arcadis project team to the construction of a new media library and the high-tech digital equipment installed in the classrooms. The success of the project and the new learning and teaching culture will boost Darmstadt's excellent reputation as a city of science and research.