The pupils of the former Vanha Vaasa Primary School and the upper classes of Variska Secondary School now study in the new comprehensive school. For four years, the lower classes were transported by bus to temporary facilities in a former school building in Palosaari.
– It’s nice that you can now go to school by bike and don’t have to wait for the bus, says sixth grader Asanda Aroranta.
The pupils thought it was nice to come to the new premises.
– At first it didn’t even feel like school at all, but when the homework started coming then it felt like school again, explains Roope Hintsa.
Shared canteen, separate playground areas
There are a total of 565 pupils in the new comprehensive school and 72 teaching staff. The new building, which was completed in the summer, seamlessly connects to the older school building, which was built in 1990.
The lower classes are in the new wing and the upper classes are in the older building. The staff and pupil care facilities are located where the two buildings meet.
– One classroom for 7- 9th grade classes is in the new wing, and the new gymnastic hall is also used by the upper classes if necessary. Both older and younger pupils are using the canteen in perfect harmony, and it has gone well, says Principal Päivi Kaarniemi.
The playground areas are separated so that the lower classes have their own entrance and exit and their yard is on the side of the new building.
According to Class 6B, the best things about the new school are, among other things, the nice playground and the canteen.
– The spider swing in the playground is nice as well as the fact that the secondary school is in the same place, says Eemeli Pitkäkangas.
Small workspaces for groups and good sound insulation
The new premises of the lower classes houses a diverse array of learning environments.
– In practice, there are small workspaces for groups between classrooms or classrooms can be connected, for example, by means of a removable partition wall. Also in the corridors and lobbies there are various spaces suitable for small work groups. The opinions and wishes of the staff have been closely listened to in the design of the facilities, explains Kaarniemi.
Principal Kaarniemi praises the sound insulation and environment of the new building. Each class also has interactive whiteboards.
The new gymnastic hall is also open for evening use, so Variska now has two halls that can be reserved by sports clubs, for example.
Variska comprehensive school
- The Variska Comprehensive School building project started in 2021.
- The cost is approximately 9.7 million euros.
- The new wing of the comprehensive school was designed by UKI Arkkitehdit Oy.
- The older building, completed in 1990, was designed by city architect Asko Halme.
- The Variska school name comes from the words Vanha Vaasa, Ristinummi and Kappelinmäki.