Some will say it was a rainy morning that heightened my sense of sadness and powerlessness. But if talking to the headmistress of Krosinek primary school and learning about the reality she was confronted with overwhelmed me, an outsider, what do employees, students and their parents feel for whom this school is almost like a second home?
On March 16, 2018, the new building of the primary school “Pod Lipami” in Krosinek was officially opened. There was a vice mayor, pastor, councillors, ribbon cutting and great rejoicing. The first phase of construction has now been completed: classrooms have been created that are necessary for the development of the school. Guests are crowding in the hallway, but a sports hall will soon be built as a second construction phase. 4 years have passed and the shovel for further expansion is still not in the ground. During this time there were more students, and probably gray hairs on the temples of the principals and teachers.
– When I started trying to expand this school, I was aware that new residential areas were starting to emerge in the area – says Bogumiła Woroch, the headmistress of the school. – The luck in our misfortune was so great that when I started to expand, primary school was still in sixth grade. Our development plans were not particularly ambitious: I estimated the extent of the expansion to the current state so that no one would accuse me of the school being too big and spending money unnecessarily. When I took over the management in Krosinek in 2002, there were 96 students, and more were added every year. Yesterday I handed over the organization sheet to the office, at the moment we have 333 children – says the director with joy.
The first sketch of the school expansion project came about during the time of the mayor of Zofia Springer.
– I was consulted about the visual concept of this building at the time. There were two options: one chrome and glass, the other was what I cared about the most: that the new structure would not dominate the old building and would not match our jewel, the first building – he emphasizes with a smile. However, once the project was approved, it appeared that construction would be split into phases, as part of the school grounds were not licensed for high-rise buildings. Funding was obtained and the first part, the education building, was built in just a few months. – There was social resistance to high-rise buildings, which doesn’t surprise me, but I then begged to take our plot out of the local plan and move forward with it myself – adds Bogumiła Woroch. However, the formal problems continued for so long that in the meantime both the school in Krosinek and the school in Krosno were flooded. Since the project was already invalid at that time and the building permit had expired, the school management requested that the construction of two classrooms, the deputy principal’s office and a large daycare center be included in the second phase.
– The project was not presented to me. And I’ll tell you it’s sad for me – the director didn’t have to add that, sadness and a sense of helplessness emanate from her throughout our entire conversation. – This construction cost me a lot of health. I believe that the architect creating the building should be aware of the person who will be using the place. And the architect didn’t want to meet me. I’ve also not been on building boards because, as I heard, “they don’t want a mean director on the board.” During the construction phase, it turned out that the wall between my office and the secretariat was not planned, the door was placed incorrectly, in the teachers’ lounge with non-opening fire windows, air conditioning was not planned. When the girls boiled water for tea, the water flowed down the walls and windows. In accordance with the fire requirements, the designer has placed three pairs of glass doors in one corridor. Three pairs of glass, heavy doors, which no six-year-old can open, lead from the room to the toilet. Is it sensible spatial planning? For who is it? Let’s get our thinking going and work together. I’m not an architect, I don’t want to make a project. But I’d like to talk about him.
During our conversation, the director suggests we go outside to better illustrate what we are talking about. On the way we meet a group of children in a narrow hallway, who are jumping around in a circle, wearing sneakers and white T-shirts. This is the third grade of gym classes. It is the only place in the entire school where gym classes are held in rain or frost. – It’s good that you can see it with your own eyes, because it’s hard to say. We practice fifth grade in the hallway. We always keep our fingers crossed for the weather, we try to go outside, the forest or on the field as much as possible. In the fall and winter, until March, no team competitions are allowed. Gymnastics only. And only in a sitting or lying version.
On April 5, at the initiative of councilors Dominik Michalak and Wiesława Mania, a meeting was held in the schoolyard, in the presence of councilors, the deputy mayor, a representative of the parents’ council and the school management. The municipality of Mosina currently has a permit to build a sports hall with facilities, valid from June 2021. Funds in the budget for the start of construction have been secured. Where is the problem? The designed building enters the gazebo of the house next to the school. The building is being demolished and is in poor technical condition. But it is inhabited by an old lady who does not want to leave the building. – The municipality offered the owner a flat in TBS in Krosno, we offered to write off her considerable debts. You don’t want to abuse that – emphasized deputy mayor Tomasz Łukowiak during the meeting of the education committee. The case went to court, but it was not possible to reach a settlement: the dispute over this area and the house has been dragging on for years.
Until there is clarity about the issue of a possible demolition by the court, the mayor will not announce a tender for the construction of a sports hall, because it is not possible to transfer the land for construction. The meeting participants suggested the idea of dividing the construction into phases: building a sports hall with utility rooms and cloakrooms, without encroaching on the building concerned. Unfortunately, no one has yet analyzed such an opportunity, although the growing neighborhoods nearby should be a clear signal that the needs of this school will increase, and at a very rapid pace.
– During the meeting, it was decided to discuss with the design bureau the possibilities of organizing this construction, ie to treat the didactic part of the new building as the next phase, and now start construction of a sports hall – explains Tomasz Łukowiak from . – There are technical issues to clear up, because then the foundation will have to be redesigned, the upper part of the sports hall will have to be reworked, as well as the water, sewage and electrical installations. There were also issues related to later acceptance and fire zones when dividing the structure into phases. All this is underway – added the vice mayor.
However, the decision to divide the construction into phases is one thing. Bogumiła Woroch draws attention to something that seems to be lost: a non-functional project. – Imagine: the mayor comes to the April meeting with a project that I see for the first time. What do I see? Classrooms on the ground floor, common area on the first floor, but all facing the street. A very busy street. The building ends at a sensitive point, where a lady lives with whom there has been a conflict and unsolved case for years, and the entire back of the lot is vacant. I am bitter – she adds resolutely. – Who assessed the functionality of this building? Has anyone ever looked at this?
The second major point that raises doubts is the loss of the school’s identity. – This old little building is our pearl, our historical value. A tall building, pulled almost to the road, will dominate the whole building. From an aesthetic point of view, this smallest building needs to be exposed as it is on the verge of disappearing. It will be the hall of the school. Old things must be respected. Valuable. Because without it we don’t exist – emphasizes the headmistress, showing an imitation of a half-timbered wall on the new school building. – We have a local plan for this plot and taking into account the cubic shape of the building and fire regulations, access and a record regarding 2 parking spaces for every 100 m2 of usable space, the area is already fully developed, this cannot be moved deeper – he explained at the education committee meeting Tomasz Łukowiak.
Initiator of the April meeting, Dominik Michalak, makes it clear: – Pre-design consultation is the basis, so at a time when there is still time to implement changes that do not lead to situations like now. None of us are engineers, but the person who manages the facility knows best what is important to its functionality. We did the same during the construction of the sports and leisure center on Krasickiego Street. Only when there is no solution do we enter into a dialogue, look for solutions and staging options. Mr. Mayor, please involve us in the design phase – appealed against the councilor.
Perhaps finding the culprit for this impasse would make it easier to bring the case to a successful conclusion. But who can be blamed here? The mayor because he does not consult the project with the users of the facility? Advice in case of too little interest and zooming in? Provincial office, court, designers? An old lady who has lived in the same house for over 60 years and doesn’t want to leave? Or the headmistress who – as she teases about herself – “talks”?
The article is from the May issue of “Gazeta Mosińsko – Puszczykowska”. Almost 8 weeks have passed since our conversation with the headmistress. Has anything changed in the subject, has it moved? – No, nothing has changed – Bogumiła Woroch answers us. – After the education committee of April, I was met by Deputy Mayor Tomasz Łukowiak, he presented me the project, as he promised during the committee meeting. I looked at the drawings and asked the mayor to ask the architect who created the design about the possibility of making some changes. To this day I have not received an answer.
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