Halvorsen ES (formerly Rhein Main ES) History

Opened: 1947
Closed: 1994

The Rhein Main School was located about twelve miles from Frankfurt, Germany, in the housing area, Gateway Gardens, of Rhein Main Air Base. The original school was opened in 1947. By the 1954-55 school year, there were almost 700 students enrolled in grades kindergarten through eight. High school students attended school at Frankfurt High School.

In the early sixties, due to the growth in student population, two annexes were added to the elementary school. The first annex was referred to as Buchschlag Elementary School, opened in a housing area of the same name. This annex was open from 1960 to 1964.

The second annex was located at IP Zeppelinheim. IP stood for Industrial Police area and was in the picnic area just a little off the base. This annex was open from 1961 to 1970. The Zeppelinheim annex had two buildings. One was a single story with two classrooms for first grade. The other was two stories. The building had been condemned, but classes were still being held there. Only grades one and two were at Zeppelinheim. This annex did have a playing field nearby. Since the school was so close to the runways, military and commercial, the students had disaster/air raid drills. According to one student, during the drills the students had to “clamber up a small wooden step-stool to the window and disperse in different directions, apparently on the theory that more children would survive if they spread out.”

The Rhein Main School complex consisted of a two-story, H-shaped building plus a separate junior high annex. Approximately half of these facilities were completed during the 1973-74 school year.

In the 1981-82 school year, the elementary school contained fifty-one regular classrooms, eighteen of which were in the new portion of the school. Also within the elementary portion were counselor’s offices, reading specialist’s office, speech therapist’s office, administrative offices, two learning development rooms, art room, nurse’s office, teachers’ lounge psychologist’s office, supply room, and an auditorium.

By the 1987-88 school year, Rhein Main Elementary School had been renamed as Gail S. Halvorsen Elementary School. There were 1,400 pupils in grades kindergarten through six. The elementary staff consisted of three administrators, forty classroom teachers, eight specialists, seven special education teachers, three host nation teachers, thirteen teacher’s aides, and eight office/supply personnel.

For the 1988-89 school year, the elementary school had grades kindergarten through five. The sixth grade was moved to the junior high school.

In addition to the elementary school located in Gateway Gardens, The Rhein Main Center for Exceptional Children was located at Building 340 on the air base. It serviced children from a fifty-mile radius. The Center was geared toward the trainable mentally handicapped child. The staff consisted of an assistant principal, a school secretary, a preschool teacher, a practical skills teacher, a cognitive and workshop teacher, a speech therapist, a fine motor teacher, a gross motor teacher, and a teacher of the severely handicapped. There were seven teacher assistants. In 1981-82 there were seventy pupils from the ages of three to twenty-one. The Center for Exceptional Children was closed in the early nineties and the classes were relocated to the elementary school.

By the 1993-94 school year, there were about 970 students in the elementary school, and the next year the elementary school and middle school were combined to become Halvorsen-Tunner Elementary/Middle School.


Information from DoD School Information Guides and school yearbooks

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