European-funded public high schools must be completed by 2023, so that funding is not lost. The Ministry of Education and Research acknowledges that the schedule is tight, but confirms that all state high schools planned for Tallinn will be completed by that time. If they can't, the state will finish the task with its own money.
While it was originally planned to complete three state high school in Tallinn by 2022, the plans have shifted over time, ERR reports.
Most recently, the Ministry of Education decided that the completion of Mustamäe High School will be postponed by one year to 2023. This was due to a shortage of materials that hit the construction sector.
However, 2023 is the last time for the completion of state high schools, if the state wants to build them with EU grants, as the plan has been from the beginning. Then the current funding period ends, so the last invoices must be issued by the end of December.
Raivo Trummal, the head of the ministry's public school management department, said that the schedule is tight - three schools must be built at the same time, which means competition with itself in the construction market - but still considers it realistic.
"According to the plan, the schools will start work in 2023, at the moment there is no reason to doubt it. The schedule is tight, there are many decision-making places, but we live in the knowledge that in 2023 it will all happen," Trummal told ERR. "But nothing will be left undone. Then new resources will be found - if the EU is not reached, it will still be done with state funds."
At the same time, the ministry has already taken into account that the cost of all schools will increase in the course of work.
The construction contract for Mustamäe State High School has been signed for €13 million, but it is already known that it will increase in price by €1.7 million or more than ten percent. The cost of the Tõnismäe school has been calculated in the same amount.
The cost of Pelgulinn High School has been estimated to be 15 percent higher, or about €15 million because wood is used as a material and it covers a large area.
"We know that construction is becoming more expensive, there are certain supply difficulties in the sector, but we have involved the State Real Estate limited company, we trust them," Trummal said.
Mustamäe State High School is currently the furthest. Its construction contract has been signed and the building should be completed at the beginning of 2023. However, studies will not start in the building until the autumn of 2023.
The construction procurement of Pelgulinn State High School is announced in the coming weeks.
Trummal said that the Tõnismäe school is the furthest behind.
"There is a design phase going on, a detailed planning process is running in parallel. As far as I know, its detailed plan has not yet been approved," Trummal said.
There is also a plan for the construction of Mustakivi State High School in Lasnamäe, but this is still a proposed development which will not fit into this EU funding period.
"Currently, for reasons related to the state budget, it has been postponed to 2027. Preparations for it are underway, we are already working on the initial task of the architectural competition," Trummal said.
In addition to the building, the school must also be supported by transport solutions and other infrastructure.
Andres Pajula, the head of the Tallinn Board of Education, said that they are aware of the ministry's plans primarily through the press, they have no official information about the school completion schedule or plans.
There has been an exchange of information on the topic of Lasnamäe State High School, but there is no specific agreement.
Cooperation agreements have been concluded with the ministry for the other three state high schools to be built in the capital.
In addition to Tallinn, the Ministry of Education is also filing an action for the completion of other state high schools, all of which have a deadline of 2023 at the latest. The new building of Paide State High School, which started operating in 2018, is nearing completion, and Rakvere and Saue State High Schools will also be completed next school year, as well as the new building of the new ballet and music school. In 2023, Rae and Narva state high schools must be finished.
Editor: Roberta Vaino