In preparation for the upcoming school year, Haifa’s municipality is investing in structural improvements throughout its schools, in addition to building two gyms that are scheduled to be completed by September 1.According to the municipality, nearly half of the NIS 42.5 million investment will go toward routine maintenance of the city’s public school buildings, replenishing classroom supplies and equipment necessary to begin the upcoming school year.Included in this budget is NIS 5m. that was invested in the continuation of a multi-year effort to expand accessibility to educational institutions for students with disabilities.
This includes the completion of building wheelchair access ramps alongside stairs in and outside of schools, as well as the installation of new elevators in order to cater to the needs of Haifa’s students with disabilities that can now be available in 8 of Haifa’s public schools.Over half of the budget, NIS 24m. will go toward the building of two gyms. One will be a 1,500 sq.m. space with 250 seats at the Open School of Haifa, located in the Neve Sha’anan district. The second will for the Alon School in Ramat Alon which will be about 1,000 sq.m. and hold 100 seats.Both will have a standard basketball court, an administration area, locker rooms and air-conditioning. “Unlike facilities in the past, which were mostly outdoors, students now have the option to play sports indoors with air-conditioning during extreme weather conditions, which is an important safety consideration,” said municipality spokesman, Roni Grossman.Some NIS 3.5m. has also been invested in installing more advanced air-conditioning systems for the gyms at Dinur, Dagan and Habonim Schools. Another NIS 1.2m.will go toward repaving and overall renovation of sports facilities at Ibn Gvirol School, Ahmedia, Hofit, al-Karma and the Reut High School for the arts.Director of Education, Culture and Welfare administration for Haifa’s municipality, Ilana Turk, said: “The preparation of schools in anticipation for the upcoming school year is one of the central tasks of this administration.These preparations of the schools, firstly begin by repairing and removing safety risks, in order to ensure a secure learning environment.“In the second stage, we are preparing for the completion of specific training of kindergartens, purchasing new equipment for schools and kindergartens, renovating bathrooms and shading sports fields. In accordance with the mayor’s policy, we will continue to improve the learning environment so that the students will study in a learning environment at the highest level,” she concluded.