Leonding is putting together a school package worth around 83 million euros

Leonding is putting together a school package worth around 83 million euros
The middle school in Doppl is being expanded and converted.
Image: Leonding Photo Club

At the local council meeting on Thursday, the die was cast: the Leondinger elementary school (VS) and the adjacent music secondary school (MMS) will be rebuilt at their existing location in the center.

This means that the original resolution from 2022 is maintained, which, as reported, was put up for political discussion again this year because the plans for the necessary transitional quarters had to be rejected during the construction period. As an alternative, a new building was discussed on the site on Hainzenbachstrasse next to the sports field; this is privately owned.

First construction work in 2025

This option is no longer applicable with the school package now presented, which consists of several components. In a first step, the middle school (MS) in Doppl will be expanded; an additional wing with around 3,000 square meters of net area will be created here, and the forecourt will also be redesigned. The necessary construction work is expected to start in mid-2025, with completion scheduled for summer 2027. Cost: around 13 million euros.

More on the subject: Location debate about the new school center

According to the plans, the project in Doppl will be followed by the new construction phase in the Leonding center. The expanded location of the Doppl middle school is intended to serve as alternative accommodation for the students of the music middle school; the students of MS Doppl and MMS Leonding are expected to be taught there together for four years.

The architectural competition for the new Leonding school center (only the multi-purpose hall will remain) is scheduled to begin in 2025, as is the tender process for the necessary construction companies. All preparatory work should be completed in 2027.

Completion in 2031

The work will begin with the demolition of VS Leonding in the summer of 2027. While the music middle school students move to Doppl, the elementary school students move to the MMS for the duration of the new building. After the new elementary school is completed – expected in 2029 – the MMS will be demolished and rebuilt. Once this construction work has been completed, the MMS students from Doppl can return to the center; the construction time is also estimated to be two years. Around 70 million euros in construction costs have been calculated for the entire complex with an underground car park.

There remains one last move to complete the package: the relocation of the MS Doppl and the VS Doppl. The two schools will move to each other’s buildings. The background to this decision is that the VS Doppl is already heavily frequented and city planning forecasts assume a further increase. The space requirement here is increasing, but this is not the case with the MS Doppl. No major increase in student numbers is expected here.

Not a unanimous decision

For Mayor Sabine Naderer-Jelinek (SP), the investments will strengthen Leonding’s position as an educational location; the variant found is the “most economically sensible and promising one”.

“This is an important and good decision,” says Deputy Mayor Thomas Neidl (VP), adding that the expensive container variant as a temporary accommodation during the construction period in the center is off the table thanks to the Doppl solution. It is important that a good traffic concept is considered for the new VS and MMS school center in the center.

The tenor of city councilor Sven Schwerer (Greens) is similar: “For us, the existing location in the center was never in doubt; the green field would never have been an option for us under any circumstances.” The package is a really good solution for everyone involved Schools.

However, the decision for the school package was not unanimous: the SPÖ, ÖVP, Greens and Neos were in favor; there was no approval from the FPÖ and MFG. Although the Freedom Party welcomes the planned expansion in Doppl, they would still prefer a new building at an alternative location for the VS and MMS. FP parliamentary group leader Peter Gattringer is convinced that would have been the more sensible solution.

Budget and high school were also topics

Leonding’s finances and the new high school were also discussed in the local council on Thursday.

The city’s budget for 2024 was unanimously approved at the meeting. The financing budget for 2024 shows a negative balance of 5.4 million euros, but this can be offset.

Despite the “difficult framework conditions”, projects should be implemented or initiated in a targeted manner. The city and its municipal infrastructure and real estate company are investing a total of 18.2 million euros. The planned projects include investments in the areas of education and childcare as well as sustainability initiatives. The city says that no savings fund is set aside for funding for sport, music, culture, business and youth, but due to inflation developments in recent years, the fees (including for sewers and water) have to be increased.

More on the subject: Leonding gets an AHS

City officials expect that the city’s financial debt will not increase by more than ten million euros. This means that with assets of around 190 million euros, the debts would be less than ten percent.

In addition, the first steps were taken for the planned high school on the Harter Plateau. A unanimous decision was made here for the container solution to kick off the new school offering with a focus on digitalization (planned for the 2024/25 school year) and for the start of the architectural competition for the new school building. Containers such as new buildings will find space in the HTL area.

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