Photos: First modern school building in Kohtla-Järve nearly finished

Nearly doubling in cost along the way, construction of a new basic school building in Kohtla-Järve, Estonia's fifth largest city, is nearing completion. Resolving design flaws has slowed the pace of construction, pushing move-in day for students and staff at Kohtla-Järve City Center Basic School from September 1 to the new year.

The old Kohtla-Järve City Center School building was demolished, and springing up in its place, funded by both the city and the state, is the industrial city's first modern basic school building.

When the school's students, staff and faculty first relocated to temporary premises off site in fall 2021, the plan was for the new school building to be built at a cost of €6 million. Since then, the price tag has almost doubled to nearly €12 million.

"It's no news to anyone that the war [in Ukraine] has made things more expensive; so we are very clearly affected by this increase in prices as well," said Kohtla-Järve Deputy Mayor Erik Setškov, adding that several design-related flaws have turned up as well tha have required additional financing.

"The Ministry of Education [and Research] has come to our aid, which has deemed this cost increase as justified and supported us," Setškov acknowledged. "The city government also sought approval from the city council to take out an additional loan, which was granted."

Flaws aside, the "Rubik's Cube" project has been a fun challenge for its builders.

"The architecture of this building is interesting — that it isn't a square box, but follow's that Rubik's cube effect; there's a lot of nooks and crannies," said OÜ Revin Grupp project manager Erkki Stepanov, commenting on the construction. "This is no ordinary build for the builder."

The new Kohtla-Järve City Center Basic School building is designed to accommodate more than 600 students.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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