Viimsi wants to expand high school, ministry doesn't think it's practical

Viimsi High School.
Viimsi High School. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Viimsi Municipality wants to build an addition to Viimsi High School, as the school's current facilities are starting to get too crowded for its students. The Ministry of Education and Research, however, believes other alternatives exist.

Speaking to ERR, Heiko Leesment, head of public relations for Viimsi Municipality, said in 2018, when the school first opened its doors, it was attended by 321 students. As of this upcoming fall, however, that number will have swelled to around 570.

"Viimsi High School is Harju County's first state high school, with a very good reputation and such high quality education that even [students] from other Harju County local governments and parts of Estonia want to go there," Leesment said, justifying the need for the addition.

Expansion plans would include building new classrooms that would be connected to the existing building via a gallery.

The municipality also wants to build a sports complex next door.

Ministry of Education and Research communications director Mari Annus told ERR that none of the country's other state high schools are short on space.

Annus explained that when planning the number of student places in state high schools, analyses are commissioned from Praxis or Cumulus, for example, and local government and the ministry's own data is utilized as well.

"Viimsi can expect a short-term increase in the number of students," Annus said. "Building new permanent infrastructure that would end up vacant later is not an optimal solution for this period."

She explained that the ministry in cooperation with the municipality could come up with temporary solutions as well, such as modular supplemental classrooms, for example.

"The opening of new state high schools in Tallinn and Harju County was taken into account when planning Viimsi High School," Annus said.

"One high school opened its doors in Tabasalu in 2021; Saue State High School opened in 2022," she highlighted. "Mustamäe, Pelgulinn and Tõnismäe state high schools will be opening this fall, and Rae State High School will be opening in 2024. New state high schools will provide students with a bigger variety of options, and will provide relief for the shortage of high school spots in Viimsi as well."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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