Construction begins in Estonia on prefab modular kindergarten for Ukraine

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Estonia's Harmet will be building a modular kindergarten for the Ukrainian city of Ovruch.
Estonia's Harmet will be building a modular kindergarten for the Ukrainian city of Ovruch. Source: ESTDEV

Estonia is contributing to the reconstruction of Ukraine's Zhytomyr Oblast, and as part of these efforts, construction of a prefabricated modular kindergarten in Ovruch will be completed next spring that was built by an Estonian company.

The Estonian Center for International Development Cooperation (ESTDEV) and Estonian modular building manufacturer Harmet signed a contract worth €1.7 million for the construction of a four-classroom kindergarten and started a countdown timer for 170 calendar days, within which time construction of the project must be complete.

The current contract with Harmet is for implementation of the first stage of construction, which will involve four classrooms for a total of 80 children. The second stage will expand the kindergarten to include another four classrooms, increasing the capacity of the facility to 160 children.

"Right now it will include 30 modules," Harmet CEO Alo Tamm explained. "That includes modules with various uses, including classrooms and technical areas. The building will be assembled from these, and the kids will love it there."

Modules being built. Source: ERR

To mitigate risks, the majority of construction will be carried out outside of Ukraine and the volume of work to be completed on site in Ovruch kept to a minimum. A bomb shelter will be built under the kindergarten building as well.

"This is one of 15 facilities given to us by the Ukrainian state," ESTDEV acting CEO Andrea Kivi explained. "The city of Ovruch and the kindergarten by the city in turn were chosen as that will be fastest and most efficient to build in modular form, which is why a modular kindergarten specifically was selected."

Kivi noted that the Harmet-built kindergarten meets EU building standards, which will give Ukrainian companies the opportunity to become familiar with EU construction regulations and codes.

"Likewise, since we have cooperated with Ukrainian representatives from the start, the kindergarten will also be built in accordance with Ukrainian construction standards," he continued, noting that in the future, it may be possible for Ukrainian companies to be involved in building projects in Estonia as well.

Ambassador: Estonia first to rebuild in Zhytomyr

Ukrainian Ambassador in Estonia Mariana Betsa highlighted that Estonia was the first country to begin rebuilding Ukraine's Zhytomyr region.

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) helped lay the cornerstone at the site of the future kindergarten in Ovruch during his first visit abroad as foreign minister. August 2022. Source: Ministery of Foreign Affairs.

"The agreement signed today marks the beginning of an important humanitarian project, where our children will be able to learn, grow and feel safe again," Betsa said Friday, thanking ESTDEV, Estonia's Foreign Ministry, Harmet as well as others involved in the project for their "invaluable work and efforts for the Ukrainian people."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs allocated €1.9 million from this year's supplementary budget for the organization of this project.

In addition to the construction of the kindergarten in Ovruch, Estonia has also pledged €1 million toward the restoration of a bridge in Malyn.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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