The International School of Hamburg (ISH) celebrated their West Wing inauguration on Saturday, 29. August. The new building offers a greater opportunity for international education by increasing the school’s infrastructure and opeing new science and sports facilities.
On what turned out to be a brilliant day, families, staff, allumni, friends and guests from the Hamburg business community came to celebrate the opening of the West Wing- that will not only allow the International School of Hamburg to grow in numbers, but also offer more sports and creative facilities for the students.
The new 3 story building has 12 regular classrooms plus 2 science rooms, a gym, a fitness hall and a multi-purpose room that can be used for meetings, conferences, exams and even dance lessons. Outside the new building, there’s also brand new outdoor sports facilities are almost ready for use, among them a tartan running track, a volleyball court and a street soccer field. The West Wing building and facilities increases the schools capacity by about 200 to 250, enabling up to 900 students to attend the ISH– a welcome addition, as the school has already been growing steadily over the last years.
The inaugural ceremony started with opening remarks by the chair of the board of directors, Dr. Anke Frieling and the head of school, Andreas Swoboda. Both speakers emphasised the importance of the additional building for the school’s future development and growth. The West Wing building allows some 250 additional students to enroll. This has a positive impact for the business community in Hamburg, enabling companies to better attract qualified employees from abroad who want to come to Hamburg with their families.
First Mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz knows that the existence of an international school is vital for the attractiveness of Hamburg as a business location. He recognizes the deeper values represented by the International School of Hamburg: Internationality, responsibility and the joy of learning. With the new educational method of project based learning, the ISH is a world pioneer. At the end of his speech, Olaf Scholz directly addressed the students, encouraging them to value the quality of education they are receiving.
US Consul General Nancy Corbett congratulated the school and the City of Hamburg. As a diplomat, she says, she knows how important it is to be part of a supportive community far away from home. “The US Consulate General has long appreciated ISH as an institution of learning that fosters intercultural understanding, and that connects Americans with Germans and with the larger international community”, she says.
The keynote speech at the opening ceremony was given by Mr. Jakob von Uexküll, Founder of the Right Livelihood Awards and the World Future Council, who is based in Hamburg, and is himself an alumnus of the ISH. He talked very convincingly about global challenges presented by climate change. It is not too late to prevent a global climate disaster, widespread poverty and asymmetries within and between societies, he says, but we are to act now. The seriousness of his speech, and the well rounded arguments are akin to the school’s values, where students are encouraged to think and research for themselves, rather than merely follow the curricula.
After the festive inauguration, the party continued- there were activities all over the school, music, food and drink for the guests as well as regular guided tours through the new facilities by current students. All of which contributed to the fantastic afternoon at the International School of Hamburg.
Below is the new west wing building. Total costs of the building including the interior equipment and facilities were 8.9 million EUR, of which 2.4 million EUR were subsidised by the City of Hamburg. The construction work started in July 2014, and finished in time for the new school year 2015/2016. To give you an impression: