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Merenkurkku School seeking temporary premises: exploring Vamia’s Hansa Campus as an option

Published: 31.5.2024

Merenkurkku School needs temporary premises starting from autumn 2025 for approximately five years. These temporary arrangements are being made to ensure that schooling despite the delays in the City Centre’s comprehensive school project caused by zoning appeals.

Reports of indoor air quality issues at Merenkurkku School increased towards the end of 2023. In response, an external indoor air quality expert, Toni Lammi from Afry Finland Oy, was called upon to join the school-specific indoor air quality team.

The expert’s initial task is to swiftly draft a plan of investigation and promptly initiate investigations into the school’s premises. All school premises will be investigated.

The goal is that the investigations are completed during May and laboratory analyses completed by the end of June.  Following this, Lammi will compile a report based on the findings, outlining necessary actions and, if needed, their execution methods.

The report on the school’s premises will be presented to the parents of the students in August.  Upon completion of the report, the Premises Management Office will work with contractors to implement the necessary measures.

Vamia premises available no earlier than Autumn 2025

The potential availability of Vamia’s Hansa Campus (Ruutikellarintie 2) premises and their suitability as temporary facilities are currently under review.

– We aim to secure Vamia’s premises as temporary facilities for Merenkurkku School for approximately five years, says Kari Nummela, Director of Education.

If this succeeds, Merenkurkku School can relocate to the Hansa Campus premises at the earliest in autumn 2025.

Relocating secondary school teaching to what was originally upper secondary institution requires modifications to the premises and the construction of special classrooms (for technical work, home economics, physics/chemistry).

Teaching in three different locations for the academic year 2024–2025

For the academic year 2024-2025, Merenkurkku School’s pupils go to school at three different locations: at Merenkurkku School, the Adult Education Centre’s Alma premises, and Keskuskoulu’s facilities.

Seven classrooms from Keskuskoulu and three from Alma will be utilised.

Measures have been taken and will continue to be taken to ensure that the premises at Merenkurkku School can be used, explains Nummela.

City Centre’s Comprehensive School delayed due to appeals

Originally, Merenkurkku School was set to move in 2026 to the new comprehensive school planned to be built in the city centre.

The new school complex in Vaasa’s city centre is intended for Finnish-language basic education classes 1-9, with completion scheduled for 2026 according to the original timeline.

However, due to zoning appeals, the construction project has been delayed by several years.  The appeals are still awaiting review by the Supreme Administrative Court.

The processing of appeals in the Supreme Administrative Court typically takes about a year, and the project planning and construction together approximately three years, says Christina Knookala, Director of Education.

Multiple corrective measures implemented at the school over the years

Vaasa City has established procedures for managing indoor air quality issues based on the problems observed. These procedures outline the necessary steps to investigate indoor air quality systematically.

Under external expert guidance, Merenkurkku School has undergone several indoor air quality assessments, damp measurings, and damp surveys.

– Based on these assessments, the expert has recommended corrective measures, which the Premises Management Office has implemented. These include, for example, sealing of building junctions and penetrations, inspections and adjustments of ventilation systems, pressure difference measurements, repairs to localised moisture damage, and sealing of old ventilation ducts, explains Tapio Ollikainen, Director of Premises Management Office at Vaasa.