Move to the new building of the Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Gymnasium

The rest of the school community stood guard as the 5th and 6th graders moved into their new classroom on the first day of school after the Easter holidays – the last few yards even on a red carpet (Picture: Ulrike Trimborn )

Ratingen. After two years of construction, a milestone has been reached in the major expansion and renovation project of the Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker secondary school. On April 25, the newly completed extension entered service. Around 500 older pupils, teachers and City of Ratingen officials lined up as students in grades 5 and 6 walked on a red carpet through the new, modern building and took possession of their new classrooms. To celebrate this day, a welcome in the cafeteria, a discovery rally and musical interventions were organized.

First Deputy and Principal Patrick Anders, representing Mayor Klaus Pesch, who was unable to attend, said: “When you look at this beautiful new building, everyone is clearly reminded of the great importance of the education in Ratingen. The city of Ratingen is investing 32 million euros to make the inner city high school structurally ready for the future – more than in any other building project to date.

Principal Andrea El Sherif said, “With the completion of the extension building and the relocation of the trial phase, our school community is finally complete again. We are very happy that our 5th and 6th year pupils are now also taught at Karl-Mücher-Weg 2 and can participate even more actively in school life. We are sure that the grand new building and the modern and functional furniture will increase everyone’s motivation and learning pleasure. Thanks to the bright and wide corridors with seats, the additional multifunctional rooms and the digital equipment, learning can be designed much more openly and according to modern pedagogical points of view.

The new building is one of the most important and certainly the most remarkable parts of the overall project. Parallel to the elongated east wing of the existing building, another three-storey block over 80 meters long was created. On the first floor, the old and the new building are connected by an enclosed bridge made of steel and glass. The roof of the building, like the roof of the bridge, will be vegetated, and a photovoltaic system will also be installed. The construction costs of the new building alone amount to around ten million euros.

The new building houses twelve classrooms and two music rooms with a large auxiliary or instrument room, and there is a school library with a “chill-out zone”. “We have received generous support from the Sparkasse HRV and the association of friends of our school to equip them. “Thank you very much for that. The new building also has offices, meeting rooms, student clubs, a large caretaker’s workshop with storage, technical rooms and of course toilets.

Incidentally, the whole building is barrier-free and there are disabled toilets on all floors. Classrooms and music rooms are equipped with decentralized ventilation devices, and of course digital boards. In the extra-large movement areas, students find niches as study and relaxation areas with stationary seating. The school garden, directly adjacent and accessible from the ground floor, can be used as a green classroom.

Such a complex construction project, which is also carried out during operation, requires well thought-out logistics. An important transitional measure, for example, consisted in the fact that the pupils of the experimental level were educated during the construction period in the building of the former Elsa Brandström school, a few hundred meters away. In addition, a container system with two fully equipped science rooms has been set up. The existing wooden pavilions have been specially renovated and turned into good learning places for a few more years.

Because the construction work will take some time. The first construction phase for the renovation of the existing building is now largely completed in parallel with the new building, as is the second in part. The north wing has been gutted and asbestos removed, now the next works are in progress, which should be done by the autumn holidays. Then, the southern, eastern and western sections will follow one another until the entire project is completed in about three years.

Facts and figures about the new Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker gymnasium building

  • Building length: 83.75m
  • Building width: from 11.25m to 13.12m
  • Building height: 12.31 m
  • Gross floor area (SHON): 3051 m²
  • Useful area (NUF): 1595 m²
  • Construction cost: approximately 10 million euros
  • Construction time: about 2 years


  • 12 classrooms and 2 music rooms with auxiliary and instrument rooms
  • School library with “relaxation zone”
  • offices, meeting rooms
  • student meetings
  • Caretaker and storage workshop, technical rooms
  • Toilet

Technical characteristics:

  • decentralized ventilation units in classrooms and music rooms
  • green roof
  • photovoltaic system
  • Glass-steel bridge (also with a green roof in the future)
  • Accessibility

Design features:

  • three-storey building wing with expanded hallway area on 1st and 2nd floors to be used as an open learning and recreation area or student hangout with stationary seating and seating niches
  • Built-in furniture in all classrooms
  • digital tables
  • school garden
  • Facade on the ground floor in clinker bricks and generous glazed surfaces, above which the aluminium-glass facade is vertically structured by pilasters in concrete reinforced with fiberglass
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