Is this what a place of education looks like? The plaster is off, a stained carpet of dark mold covers parts of the floor, the windows in the gym are crumbling, the basement is closed – and from now on the entire second part of the Anna Lindh School in Mitte, as announced on Tuesday . A place of mold growth.
Mittes City Councilor for Schools and Sport Stefanie Remlinger (Greens) and the headmaster Mathias Hörold invited to a press conference including a tour of the school on Wednesday. The damaged windows, graffiti on the outer walls, peeling paint and construction site coverings are already noticeable from the outside.
In one building and in the staff room of the elementary school, mold loads that exceeded the limit values were found. Remlinger calls the measurement results “shocking”. Because it was measured where renovations to combat mold had previously taken place. Measurements are now scheduled throughout the school building.
The total of 280 students who were previously taught in the polluted wing of the building now have to be taught elsewhere. But the largest elementary school in Berlin only has capacity for a small proportion of those affected. That’s why 250 of the elementary school students will have to move from August 22nd.
But if possible only within a radius of three or four kilometers, as Stefanie Remlinger assures. We are looking for alternatives and hope to be able to sign a lease agreement in the coming days. The costs for the rent and the transport of the students to the new location cannot be quantified.
[If you want to have all the latest news live on your mobile phone, we recommend our app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices.]
One does not want to jeopardize the lease and avoid further price increases, explains Remlinger: “Our negotiating position is bad enough”. According to Remlinger, the students should be accommodated until the renovations are completed. A container solution is not possible due to the lack of time.
The Anna Lindh School was actually renovated in 2020/21. In the past five years, 5.3 million euros have flowed into the renovation of the buildings from the 1950s. Most recently, the roof and the gymnasium were renovated while the school was still running, but the construction work is now on hold. The school councilor included the school in the investment plan from 2024, which has not yet been decided.
The Anna Lindh School had to be completely renovated, which would normally take eight to nine years. The costs would amount to around 60 million euros. A demolition and new construction is currently not possible because it is a listed building.
According to Remlinger, the construction of a new primary school normally costs 30 to 40 million euros and would therefore be cheaper than a renewed attempt at renovation. That’s faster too. She is in favor of starting the debate on monument protection again, adds the former Berlin MP.
“The structural condition of the school is bad. Very, very bad,” says Headmaster Hörold. Modern teaching is currently not possible due to the space situation. If so much money were spent, Mathias Hörold continues, one would expect at the end of the process to have a modern school building that would meet today’s requirements.
Several teachers have already applied for a transfer because of the dilapidated building. Others had complained of respiratory problems and have only taught in other parts of the building since then. So far, however, students have not moved to unpolluted parts of the building. Remlinger admits that it cannot be ruled out that this has caused damage to health.
According to the city councilor for education, the teaching process is not endangered by the alternative location. She hopes that specialist rooms can be set up there. Only for physical education a solution had to be found. However, Jarko Hennig from the school supervisory board explained that the project for the promotion of gifted students at Anna-Lindh might be endangered by the move.
[More from the capital. More from the region. More about politics and society. And more useful for you. This is now available with Tagesspiegel Plus: Test it now for 30 days free of charge.]
The school trial for cross-year support is unique at the elementary school in Berlin. If the fifth and sixth grades were to be relocated as planned, this would pose great challenges to the attempt – to the detriment of the gifted students.
During the building inspection, Hörold explains that the basement has been closed since 2021 because moisture penetrated the walls. Since then there has also been a lack of storage facilities in the school. Now a total of 20 rooms are unusable. When 280 elementary school students can learn there again remains open.