EU funds help: Thanks to an EU fund grant, Psáry boasts a new school (VIDEO)
13. 3. 2023
The Amos Primary School in Psáry was literally built on a green field. The project received a grant for the construction of a passive building. Within three years of its existence, it won several prestigious awards. The Spanish publisher LOFT Publications included it in its Top 30 World Schools publication. In the Passive Building of the Year 2019 competition, it won first prize in the new building category. In 2020, the school became the Building of the Year in the Central Bohemian Region.
Later, it won the title of Public Interior of the Year 2020.
Psáry/Dolní Jirčany – This school is fundamentally different from all others. It was erected in 2019 on the outskirts of Dolní Jirčany, a part of Psáry in central Bohemia. It is the first fully organized school building in the Czech Republic that meets the passive energy standard.
The Psáry school was designed as a cluster building, where the smallest unit (cluster) is a group of three classrooms that are connected by a hall and have common sanitary facilities and spaces for teachers.
This building is interesting not only for its contribution to climate protection. It is also unusual in that the pupils here do not hear the bell ringing to remind them of the beginning and end of a lesson. Or in that they can easily walk from one part of the complex to another via the roof. There are also separate entrances for the lower primary and upper primary school pupils.
In the classrooms, the desks are not traditionally arranged in rows, but grouped into work nests. The entire premises serve as a community centre of the village and are also in operation outside of school hours. There is a library, two gymnasiums, a dance hall and a climbing wall that are used by the public.
A BUILDING THAT HELPS TO PROTECT THE CLIMATE
The school was officially opened at the beginning of September 2019 and cost CZK 420 million in total. Of that, the environmental project financed by EU funds accounted for CZK 272 million. "The construction of the school grounds was paid from several sources. The Ministry of Education provided CZK 238 million, ten million came from the Central Bohemian Region, and a significant grant from the European Union funds. The EU supported the construction of the school with almost CZK 50 million from the Operational Programme Environment. The municipality covered the rest. The significant contribution from the European Union funds was essential for us, because without it we would not have been able to implement this construction project," said the deputy mayor of the village, Milan Vácha, who was the mayor during the planning, construction and opening of the school.
Additional European grants of several million were used to equip specialised classrooms. Those include fully equipped chemistry laboratories as well as a multimedia laboratory. The school also acquired learning equipment for robotics and 3D printers. "The multimedia lab allows working with video at a semi-professional level, filming with cameras, editing videos, and there is also a keying screen for preparing visual effects. One of the spaces is a sound studio, enabling school radio broadcasts," Milan Vácha explained.
THE FIRST PASSIVE SCHOOL IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
"After an unsuccessful architectural competition for a new building in the Dolní Jirčany village centre, a more suitable larger plot was sought. That was in 2009. Our ideas simply did not fit into the building we had at that time. Already in 2013, we were looking for grants, but they had an upper limit of CZK 30 million as they were intended for smaller extensions and inner constructions. We couldn't fit into that. But then a call for proposals appeared, we applied and received funding from EU funds. Without grants, we could not start building the school. Even so, as a municipality, we had to take out a loan of eighty million, which was, at the time, at the limit of the possible indebtedness of the municipality," Deputy Mayor Vácha recalls.
The Psáry school is the first school in the country built in the passive standard. "Passive houses are quite demanding in terms of technology, location and orientation, with a matching design of insulation and shading. The building is primarily heated by heat pumps, ventilation is provided by heat-recovery units that use the residual heat of the outgoing air to heat the incoming fresh air. Rainwater is used for watering and flushing toilets," adds Deputy Mayor Milan Vácha. It is the concentration of all these technologies that makes the school in Psáry probably the "greenest" school building nationally. And that's why representatives of local governments from all over the country who are thinking about constructing a similar school building come here for inspiration.
“But then a call for proposals appeared, we applied and received funding from EU funds. Without grants, we could not start building the school.”
Milan Vácha, Deputy Mayor of Psáry
SCHOOL FOR THE 21st CENTURY. Within three years of its existence, the Amos Primary School in Psáry won several prestigious awards. It is the first school premises in the Czech Republic that meet the passive energy standard. In addition, it is a very pleasant and inspiring environment for pupils. However, the school is not used only by children, it serves the whole village. Readers will find a library here, sports people a sports hall and a climbing wall. And the place holds various social events.
Photo: BoysPlayNice + Deník daily/Jiří Macek