In Kåge, a surge of new residential developments, including apartment buildings and villas, is underway. This rapid growth is expected to put significant strain on the local school system, with Kågeskolan projected to become insufficient in just a few years.
To address this concern, an investigation has been conducted into the construction of a new school catering to students from preschool to the 3rd grade. Additionally, plans are underway for a brand-new full-sized sports hall, strategically located adjacent to the proposed school facility.
A dedicated team comprising members from the school administration, support and facilities department, urban planners, and environmental division has extensively assessed six potential alternatives. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, with none considered to be a flawless solution.
The group unanimously agrees that an expansion west of the existing school is the best alternative. This location facilitates better collaboration among staff members, simplifies transportation logistics, and allows for the shared use of specialized rooms, such as the crafts workshop. Additionally, the same kitchen facilities can be utilized.
Furthermore, this arrangement ensures that the new sports hall will be accessible to students from grades 4 to 9. Some of the other alternatives would be located too far away, making it impractical for middle and high school students to use the new facility.
The current school also benefits from its favorable location in Kåge, enabling most children to walk or bike to school within a reasonable time frame.
However, there are also potential hurdles to consider. Building on agricultural land may require approval from the County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen), which may not be guaranteed. The proposed site is also in close proximity to Kåge river and compliance with shoreline protection regulations could pose challenges.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that the land is privately owned.
Here are the remaining proposals, listed in numerical order from north to south.
1.Brännsvidsberget: Located at the northernmost part of Kåge, adjacent to new apartments and villas. However, there are limitations on further development in the area. The drawback is that this location is quite far from the center of the community, requiring some children to rely on school transportation. Moreover, the area is originally designated as urban-proximate forest.
2. Existing school: (refer to the previous text)
3. At the sports field: In an area near the E4 highway, there is ample space available. The advantage is the potential for shared use with the sports facilities. However, the environmental department advises against this location due to its proximity to the E4 highway. The construction of a new pedestrian bridge over the river may be necessary in this case.
4. Kågebadets plot: This site is centrally located and also in close proximity to the existing school, allowing students to utilize both sports halls. However, the disadvantage is that the future of Kågebadet (the local swimming facility) is not yet determined. The area is also relatively cramped, making it challenging to expand further if necessary. Due to its proximity to the river, fencing is required, which limits public access to the waterfront. Additionally, the site is near cultural buildings, which would necessitate a dispensation from shoreline protection regulations.
5. Västra Sörbyn. Located south of the area where Skebo will soon develop a large residential area, this site will be positioned at the southernmost part of Kåge. However, the advantage is that Kåge is intended to expand in that direction. The drawback is that the area is prone to waterlogging or being wet.
6. North of Spännarberget: This option is even further "outside" of Kåge but located in an area where the community has the potential to expand. It is a considerable distance, which would require some children in Kåge to rely on school transportation. There are currently no roads, walkways, or bike paths in place. The site is considered to have valuable natural features.
The investigation will now be submitted to the municipal council, with a proposal to continue working with alternative two. If it turns out that building near the existing school is not feasible, other options will have to be considered. However, the challenge lies in the lack of consensus among different departments regarding the preferred next alternative.
Regardless of the chosen location, a new detailed plan will need to be developed, and several sites may require dispensation for shoreline protection. Therefore, it is a lengthy process before construction can commence. However, the group's unanimous perspective is that it is better to take the necessary time rather than rushing, as a school once built will remain in place for a significant period.