Charles County Commissioners Lead Delegation to Sister City in Germany

Delegation toured new $18.6 Million Euro Sports & Culture Center and Local Businesses

By Herbert C. Ebeling (Walldorf News, Germany) and George Clarkson, Charles County Press Secretary

Walldorf and Maryland Delegation members in front of the new Astoria-Center for Sports and Culture in Walldorf, Germany. (Photo by Herbert C. Ebeling, Walldorf News, Germany)
Walldorf and Maryland Delegation members in front of the new Astoria-Center for Sports and Culture in Walldorf, Germany. (Photo by Herbert C. Ebeling, Walldorf News, Germany)

WALLDORF, Germany (Jan. 16, 2008)The city of Walldorf, Germany, is hosting delegations from her six sister-cities for a very special occasionthe opening of an $18.6 Million Euro complex for cultural and sporting events.

The first delegation to arrive in Walldorf was from Charles County Maryland, and included: County Commissioners Wayne Cooper, Samuel N. Graves and Gary Hodge. The delegation also included Charles County Delegate Sally Jameson (D), Charles County Administrator Paul W. Comfort, Dick Gregory, president of the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Foundation, his son Paul, of the Waldorf Jaycees and several Charles County business and civic leaders.

Walldorf, Germany, situated about ten miles south of Heidelberg, is home to SAP, a software giant that employs more than 10,000 workers. A world-wide distributor of software and software components, SAP also includes a sister-operation that is based in Washington, D.C. The company works to strategically contour the software needs of its clients, especially those with specific budget guidelines.

SAP's state-of-the-art complex is "environmentally friendly." An advanced design concept allows for a central control mechanism to monitor all buildings on a 24-hour basis. To conserve energy, the structures have shades on the outside to regulate the amount of natural light and heat that is filtered to working locations and offices. And, parking lots are covered with crushed stones to provide for better drainage and less puddling of water.

Under their recycling and waste management program, waste is turned into methane gas, which is sold commercially to area businesses.

Walldorf is also the home of the Heidelberg Printing Press Company. The world renowned printing business, which has been setting industry standards in print and print technology for over 100 years, recently donated a Heidelberg Press (valued at $350,000) to Charles County's North Point High School. The Heidelberg plant employs more than 6,000 area workers.

The Charles County delegation also met with German school administrators and educators to discuss classroom management methods, testing procedures and curriculum requirements.

After presenting special gifts to Mayor Merklinger, Commissioner Wayne Cooper said he was very proud to participate in the opening ceremonies of the sports complex, and to learn more about the many energy saving methods Walldorf, Germany has put into place. "This has been a great learning experience, and I've truly benefited in observing their environmental and ecological efforts," said Cooper.

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