“Nobody here thinks of this as temporary premises. This is just our pre-school, in a really nice building.”
“PCS has put up a large number of pre-schools of course. They understand how we work and what we need. And when we had slightly more specific requirements, such as replacing wardrobes with new, narrower cupboards for mattresses, it wasn’t a problem for them. The whole project, from preliminary planning to moving in, has been extremely smooth, straight-forward and easy.”
Rosie has been a pre-school teacher since 1974 and now works as an administrator for Hornsberg pre-school catchment area in Kungsholmen in Stockholm. We meet Rosie at her new place of work at Vågen Pre-school near the Kristineberg stately home.
“It’s lovely and spacious here. You can see that the quality of what we call the pavilions has improved no end. Nobody here thinks of this as temporary premises built from pre-fab units. We just think of this as our pre-school, in a really nice building,” says Rosie.
Ensure needs are met
We ask Rosie to tell us more about how the fully functioning pre-school came into being and about her role in the process.
“As an administrator, I act as a contact person between local supplier PCS Modulsystem and the council’s procurement manager for property, Hans Vesterberg. In practice, this means that I represent the pre-school.
Child safety and working conditions
Rosie gives a more concrete example:
“We have to meet a large number of stipulations on child safety and working conditions. For example, it is important that doors have fixed handles that can be locked at the top, and that we have gates in the right places. Staff also have preferences about where things are positioned to minimise heavy lifting.”
“Another important factor is the design of the kitchen. All food is prepared here by a full-time cook, something we think is important. Kitchen equipment must meet EG directives; work which PCS co-ordinates with their consultants. We’re provided with detailed plans that show how everything will look. Furthermore, we also have the chance to make our own requests about how things should look. For example, we thought that there were not enough shelves and we needed more,” Rosie explains.
“And then there are always things that we think of after the planning stage. Some of these PCS resolves with their can-do attitude and flexibility, other things perhaps cost a bit too much. Our budget is limited and we have to find alternative solutions,” says Rosie.
An entire move in one day
The first modules were lifted into place in the last week of September. And on the 25th of November 2013, Vågen Pre-school was ready to move into. When we ask Rosie how many weeks they had to move in she laughs.
“We moved everything in in one day. We had three classrooms from other pre-schools that merged with us, and the fourth was entirely new. Staff came here and got themselves and their things set-up in one day and the parents helped by having their children at home. The next day all the children came and everything had to work,” explains Rosie.
“Given that staff were at different locations during project stage, you can imagine how important it is that everyone involved co-operates and that inventory and material deliveries have worked. And whatever we were missing could be sorted out quickly. For example staff realised that a gate was missing, but PCS took care of it.”
“It all went surprisingly well actually. The main challenge will be for teaching staff and the cook to create a pleasant, safe and creative environment that is suited to the group of children they have. Naturally, not everything works perfectly from day 1. But thanks to our flexible and competent staff, the children have been given an excellent pre-school environment right from the word go.”
Everything ready outdoors as well
One worry had been the outdoor area.
“We were lucky. Temperatures didn’t get below freezing and PCS finished our playground in time for when we moved in,” says Rosie.
Vågen Pre-school is located adjacent to Kristineberg stately home and recreation ground, and perhaps most importantly, next to a lovely playground, which is popularly known as Uggleparken, or ‘Owl Park’. And that’s why Vågen now has acorns, amongst other things, on its playground in the same excellent designs as the imaginative creations in the park next door.
A sense of quality
We ask Rosie to sum up the entire project and the result:
“It’s all been really smooth and straight forward. PCS do what they say they’re going to do. It’s so important to be able to co-operate on a project like this, especially when you have children on site.”
“In our pre-school area, we now have two hired, temporary pavilions – plus another at Hagen on Mariedal Street, which are PCS also supplied, as well as five permanent pre-schools. For those of us working here, there’s no difference between PCS modules and conventional buildings. The quality, ventilation and heating all feel excellent. The impression is that they are good quality buildings, where administrators, teaching staff, children and their parents feel at home.