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School renovations: How is things progressing in the Schärding district?

School renovations: How is things progressing in the Schärding district?

The anniversary school in Schärding is to be completely renovated. A final financing commitment from the state is still pending.

In order to improve the educational infrastructure and at the same time support the regional construction industry, the SPÖ, Greens and Neos recently submitted an emergency motion at a state parliament meeting calling for a renovation plan for public buildings. In particular, it was about school renovations.

According to SP state parliament member Doris Margreiter, an investment offensive for educational institutions would be long overdue. After all, according to Margreiter, around 140 schools are waiting for measures. According to the SPÖ, the backlog of school renovations would amount to almost 500 million euros.

However, the application was rejected by the ÖVP and FPÖ. The Münzkirchner VP state parliament member Florian Grünberger justified the decision at the meeting by saying that the state would already cover a large part of the total costs incurred in the renovation of public buildings. In addition, with a predetermined plan, the municipalities would be deprived of their authority to make renovation decisions. “Everything” is being done to make financing possible for public buildings, said Grünberger. In the district, Schärding, St. Florian, Eggerding and Raab are currently on the state’s shortlist with their school projects.

“Renovation is urgent”

The general renovation of the venerable elementary school has been an issue in the district capital for a long time. The concept for the far-reaching renovation is already in place. The state’s inquiries are currently being processed, so a firm financing commitment is still pending.

“In our view, the renovation is urgent, even if there is no urgent need for action. In recent years, measures have been taken repeatedly so that school operations can be carried out properly,” says Mayor Günter Streicher (SP). Nevertheless, all areas should be thoroughly renovated, said Streicher. The city manager expects the renovation to take just under 14 months. The current cost estimate is currently around eight million euros gross. For the city of Schärding, which is in financial hardship compensation for the second year in a row, this is “of course a big challenge,” says Streicher. One hopes for the “active support of the country”.

Financial situation at a glance

A major investment is also on the agenda in Schärding’s neighboring community of St. Florian. The community is currently in the conception phase for the new elementary school building; according to Mayor Bernhard Brait (VP), the planning should take place this year. The basic project envisages an overall concept with the construction of a community and event center in connection with the country hotel. “The primary school is of course a priority. But the financial situation of the community must always be taken into account,” says Brait. In Eggerding, however, the order of priorities is different – also due to the tense financial situation. As Mayor Christian Gallhammer (VP) announced in response to an OÖN request, the municipality had to postpone the school project due to the hardship compensation and bring forward the kindergarten project including a playroom.

Like so many other municipalities, Raab is reaching its financial limits. The market town was still able to finance the 40 percent community share for the 500,000 euro renovation of the elementary school. However, this meant that general budget reserves had to be released, as Mayor Agnes Reiter (List Für Raab) explains. The project – which includes, among other things, a partial renovation of the flat roof, a thermal renovation and some small improvements to the interior of the building – is scheduled to be implemented next year.

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