Van Maerlant Lyceum wants to draw the Eindhoven Municipality’s attention. They would like some money for renovations.
For years, there have been plans to give the school an overhaul. Around EUR14.5 million is available for this, says the Eindhoven City Council. They are responsible for the renovation of school buildings. At Van Maerlant they would like to have EUR20 million, but they especially want something to happen quickly. “Even if we start with the new building, and wait a bit with the renovations”, says Rector, Emmeken van der Heijden.
Lessons in the basement
The case surrounding the renovation of Van Maerlant is quite a long one. Due to lack of space, the school has had emergency classrooms in the basement since 2002. The cellar that served as a bicycle shed has been transformed into a canteen and in the same cellar are rooms where pupils sometimes have to take lessons. In the summer it gets hot in the monumental building built in 1953 and in the winter, of course, cold.
‘Pupils are the victims’
Rector Van der Heijden, therefore, has no understanding for the Municipality when they say it is in a difficult state because there is not enough money. “I think it’s scandalous. We live here in the Brainport region; we think innovation is important and then we deal with our students in this way. In the end, it’s all about them ‘, she snapped at the City Council.
Van Maerlant is no exception to the rule. The Lorentz Casimir Lyceum and the Huygens Lyceum have been waiting for years for renovations or new construction. Rectors and administrators have recently literally stormed out of the school and reported that their patience is up. They believe something has to be done.
City Councillor for Education, Stijn Steenbakkers, understands the schools’ frustration. He acknowledges that there is little room for manoeuvre with regard to the City’s finances. In September he will be talking with the school boards to discuss the renovation and new construction plans. Steenbakkers is hopeful that the conversations will eventually lead to solutions, but calls it ‘an interesting puzzle’.
Translated by: Chaitali Sengupta