Investors footed the bill for 150 new social facilities in Moscow

Investors footed the bill for 150 new social facilities in Moscow
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Yevgeny Samarin
Most of buildings for schools and kindergartens that are investor financed are largely transferred to the city.

The ownership for many of the social facilities built in Moscow is transferred from the developer to the city. One example of this is the new residential development Vershinino, which has a primary school and a preschool facility. The residential neighbourhood was built in the south of Moscow close to Nagornaya metro station.

“The city is building many metro stations and lines, interchanges and roads, renovating railway tracks and building numerous social facilities and services,” Sergei Sobyanin said during his visit to a school. “We expect investors to feel the same way about the city and take a more comprehensive approach to housing developments which, in addition to creating quality housing, should include quality improvement [of courtyards] and the construction of child-care centres, schools, outpatient clinics and sport facilities.”

According to the mayor, about 150 social facilities have been built in Moscow with investor financing in the past few years. “The majority of them, like this school and the kindergarten, were transferred to the city without compensation, so that children can receive an education,” Sobyanin said. “Our requirement is that the quality of these buildings is not in any way inferior to buildings constructed by the city.”

A new Moscow school

The primary school with a preschool facility as part of the Vershinino residential neighbourhood was a nonstandard design. The building has a floor space of 8,000 square metres and a varying numbers of floors – from one to three – and a basement where a heating station is located. Thanks to the environmentally-friendly and fireproof Stenopan lining, the walls of the building will not require frequent repairs.

The primary school can hold 400 pupils (16 classes, 25 children each) and the preschool is designed for 165 children divided into seven groups. The building was opened in the second quarter of 2016 and the school opened on 9 January 2017. 

The newly built school has everything required for educating, training and developing preschoolers and children of primary school age. Classrooms include interactive equipment and the school employs an educational speech therapist and a psychologist and it also features a technology room, a cafeteria and a medical room. 

The school general purpose hall has a large screen and modern audio and lighting equipment. The preschool features comfortable meeting halls for games and choreography classes. Modern playgrounds and sport grounds at the school serve to increase the students’ level of physical activity.

In addition, the school is fully adapted for children with health problems.

The programme to include the primary school and the preschool under one roof aims to help children transition from kindergarten to elementary school. The school features separate entrances for preschoolers and primary school pupils. This seems to be appropriate for all children.

The new school building was transferred to Olimp School No. 1450, which was founded in 1980 (formerly, School No. 653) and since then has evolved into a large education complex with five school buildings and five preschools.

In all, 3,228 children attend the school, including 904 preschoolers and 2,324 primary school pupils; 2,371 children, or 73.5 percent of the total, participate in extracurricular activities.

The school features seven gyms, stadiums, basketball, volleyball and football pitches and a swimming pool to encourage children to be engaged in physical activity.  Several school buildings house museums, for example, the Museum of Economics at 27 Krivorozhskaya Street and the Museum of Wild and Urban Nature at 9 Fruktovaya Street.  

Pupils use ID cards to enter the buildings and an advanced security system based on video surveillance has been installed to ensure the children’s safety. The new buildings are adapted for access by individuals with limited mobility.

In the 2015-2016 academic year, 93 eleventh graders graduated, including 13 students who were awarded gold medals For Extraordinary Achievements in Learning by the Moscow Government. In the same year the education complex was rated Moscow’s 227th best school.  

The school maintains close contact with the Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University through its participation in the Medical Class project. It has partnered with the Etnosfera Centre for Promoting Interethnic Education to carry out Learning the Language and History of Greece project. Also, the school is cooperating with the Russian University of Peoples’ Friendship (RUDN), Moscow State Aviation Technological University (MATI) and Moscow Technological University (MIREA).  

School teachers have developed two programmes: The Russian School (to help migrants’ children adapt to a new language and culture) and The Moscow School: Shaping Civic Solidarity and a Culture of Peace and Accord.  

A sport and fitness club opened at the school. Twice, in 2014 and 2016, the school’s teams emerged victorious in the national school sports competition known as The Presidential Sports Games. 

Vershinino residential district

The Vershinino residential district was built at the site of the former Kotelsky Brickyard under a programme to redevelop the Verkhniye Kotly industrial zone. The neighbourhood includes six buildings with a total of 1,552 flats (four 25-storey buildings and two 22-storey buildings), parking for 1,350 cars and a school building. It occupies191,200 square metres, including 100,000 square metres of flats.   

The residential buildings have ramps and lifts, which make them accessible to people with limited mobility. The ground floors includes pharmacies, laundries, shops and other retail.

The new residential area, with its plot covering 8.3 hectares of land, also features green spaces with benches and paths; modern playgrounds with swings, labyrinths and merry-go-rounds to increase children’s learning abilities; universal sport grounds; walking and recreational areas, including lanes for bicycles and roller skaters, and summerhouses for picnics.

Construction lasted from June 2015 until September 2016. Now, the buildings are in use, the flats have been sold for the most part, and people have moved in.

Schools, outpatient clinics and theatres at investor expense

The city uses its own funds and also draws funding from private investors to build schools and other social facilities.

In 2011–2016, investors funded 143 social facilities in Moscow, 53 of which (or 37 percent of the total) were later transferred, or are being transferred, to the city.

Famous cultural landmarks that were transferred by investors to the city include the renovated Moscow Planetarium, the Russkaya Pesnya [Russian Song] Theatre and the Vishnyovy Sad [Cherry Orchard] Theatrical Centre. This year the city will take ownership of the Volshebnaya Lampa [Magic Lamp] Children’s Theatre.

The Sports Medicine Centre on Sovetskoi Armii Street has been transferred to the city. The unique Anastasiya Davydova Synchronised Swimming Centre will soon be incorporated into the Department of Physical Fitness and Sport.

In healthcare, buildings transferred to the city in the last six years have been used to open eight outpatient clinics and an infectious diseases department at the Speransky Children’s Hospital.

However, education attracts private investors most of all. In 2011–2016, 63 schools were built with private funding, of which 38 schools, or 60 percent, were transferred to the city without cost to be used for schools and child-care centres.