"The CSU caucus has printed the reset button", says its chairman udo schonfelder. Meant is the search for kindergarten places. The reason for this is the failure of plans to expand the sattlertor kindergarten in karolingerstrabe. There, right next to the building with the house number 15, an old residential building becomes free. The house is owned by the city, or rather in the hands of the united pfrundnerstiftungen administered by the city. During the discussion on whether it would make sense to convert the three-story building into a kindergarten, one counter-argument was the old structure of the building. Nevertheless, planning was approved in the forchheim city council.
To stop the conversion or not after all?
Now the proponents of redevelopment seem to be facing another, far more serious problem – at least if the city council members udo schonfelder (CSU) and holger lehnhard (CSU) are to be believed.
Both report unanimously to this newspaper about an assessment of the building’s structure by an external architectural firm. This is also confirmed by britta kurth from the city’s press office. According to the two city councillors, this assessment showed that the building was structurally unsuitable for conversion to a kindergarten. That means that at karolingerstrabe 13, there will be no more space for children for the time being.
On the other hand, kurth stated that she could not confirm a planning freeze. The city had commissioned an external architectural firm to convert the properties. "Beyond this, we are not making any official statement at this time."
Nevertheless, said schonfelder, and this does not have to contradict the presentation of the city, the administration was informed a few weeks ago that a completion had been postponed by one year to 2021 anyway. And that at a time when there are more and more children in forchheim. Therefore says schonfelder, the CSU search with first priority for kindergarten places in forchheim and city districts. This search was set now, after the planning stop mentioned by him, again on zero.
But how did the alternatives look? The purchase of the parish hall in burk was rejected, according to lehnhard. Another possibility is a new building, perhaps even in the loschwohrd area, which borders directly on the sattlertor kindergarten. However, this first had to be developed structurally. In addition, in this case the house at karolingerstrabe 13 was demolished to make room for an access road. A variant that appeals to neither lehnhard nor schonfelder.
Schonfelder does not want to make the go-ahead for the development dependent on the construction of a new kindergarten alone. Especially since there is currently a lack of planning resources, which are primarily concentrated on the kolpingshaus. Because if, according to schonfelder, the area must be planned holistically. The development and the kindergarten should not be linked together. Finally, a solution for the care problem has top priority.
Lehnhard takes a critical view of any solution in karolingerstrabe. He had already pointed out in advance that the building’s structure was inadequate, and now he rejects the demolition of the building for a passageway. A new building at this location, close to the road, would also be unsuitable for a kindergarten. He clearly states: "I feel sorry for the parents who rely on the state and the city." Since 2013, there has been a legal entitlement to a place in a nursery from the first birthday onwards. In concrete terms, this means that parents who have not been able to find a place for their child can sue the city.
Time presses for quick solutions. Today is the end of the registration week for kindergartens, nurseries and kindergartens for places from september 2019. As early as last november, gabriele obenauf, head of the city of forchheim’s department for youth, education, sports and social affairs, reported in her annual report on 34 missing kindergarten places. The situation is worst in the east of forchheim, in reuth, and in the city center, where 13 children each spend their time without a kindergarten place.
As a solution, obenauf had presented the conversion of the building at karolingerstrabe 13 into a daycare facility. This may now fall through. However, neither schonfelder nor lehnhard can say what will happen next.
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