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29
JAN
2013

The solution for preschool facilities

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“In order to obtain new preschool facilities on short notice, one must be able to act quickly and be flexible. PCS Modulsystem has done just that every time we contracted them. Thanks to their non-bureaucratic manner, they have been able to meet our requirements in a simple and effective way,” says Lars Sjöholm, Project Manager for preschool locations for the Hägersten/Liljeholmen district in the south of Stockholm. The preschool guarantee program places tough demands on city planners in Stockholm, especially in the most expansive districts. These include Hägersten/Liljeholmen. “From the time parents apply, we are able to provide a preschool facility within three months. Since it takes 4-5 years to find a permanent preschool location, we sometimes need to look for other solutions. In those cases the modular pavilions that we rent for a designated time period is an excellent solution,” continues Lars. Growing by leaps and bounds The Hägersten/Liljeholmen city district has grown extensively over the past decade. The number of preschool children enrolled has gone through the roof. In 2003 there were 1,817 children enrolled, in 2007 there were 3,007 and by 2012, the district had 4,187 children attending preschools. “The modular pavilions were, from the beginning, designed to cope with population spikes. Many times we believed that the peak was reached. We were wrong. Rather, it is an ever-growing top plateau,” says Lars and continues: “At the same time, the district has a limited budget. The city has decided that of each SEK 100 invested in preschools, SEK 79 goes directly into the operation. This means that we have to solve the need for new preschool facilities in an economically efficient way. Therefore, we have continued to use modular pavilions as an important complement to our expansion of preschool facilities.” Årstaberg quickly doubled in size One such example is the preschool in Årstaberg. From the beginning, PCS had set up a long single-story building, which held six preschool classes. It was then expanded to include a smaller separate building that added two more classes. “In the autumn of 2011, we faced the fact that there would be a shortage of a large number of preschool classrooms for the next autumn. In part because Årstadalsskolan needed to use the premises that we used for our preschoolers, but also for all the new residents and their growing families. The solution came after talks with PCS and in a short time we began construction of both buildings. This would create 14 preschool classes, an expanded staff room and a large prep kitchen able to handle 300 servings of food per day. Complicated situation – but PCS will find solutions Lars talks about the project: “It was a complicated construction project that required extraordinary efforts. PCS had to adapt the old modules to the new facilities. The clients came with multiple requirements, which meant that the construction period was shortened several times. The buildings are located on a sloping hillside. Rainwater drainage was a problem. Blasting was required. At the same time it is a very crowded area.” “The first part of the modular construction began during Easter week, when the preschool was closed for the holiday. During the weeks leading up to the summer shutdown, installation and construction work continued and carried on into the autumn semester. We simply had an overly optimistic timetable, given the scope of work and this created problems for staff and parents. But thanks to the fact that PCS was so easy to deal with and was always available, they could resolve any problems that arose in a smooth and efficient manner.” Previously worked in preschools Lars has previously worked at a preschool himself, as both staff and as manager. From this practical experience he has gained insight regarding different types of preschool building projects. “In my opinion, PCS is not only fast but also does a very good job. They employ skilled craftsmen that build with a quality that means these buildings could very well be preserved and used permanently. This happened, for example, with an extension in Aspudden’s center district. No one can now tell that it was built using modules. Building quality also means that we do not need to be concerned that PCS hedges when it comes to children’s safety.” Simple advice to other city districts from Lars Does Lars possibly have any advice for other districts or municipalities that have not tried this solution when the need for preschool or school facilities suddenly arise? “If you have a need for space, an idea and some land – start by asking for a solution proposal. A few short days later, you will have a simple suggestion for how to meet your requirements. From there, it is easier to determine if and how to proceed.”
As Project Manager, Lars Sjöholm is in charge of obtaining preschool facilities for the city district of Hägersten/Liljeholmen in Stockholm. From his office at Telefonplan he can look out over a neighborhood that is growing very fast, especially in terms of new preschoolers.

As Project Manager, Lars Sjöholm is in charge of obtaining preschool facilities for the city district of Hägersten/Liljeholmen in Stockholm. From his office at Telefonplan he can look out over a neighborhood that is growing very fast, especially in terms of new preschoolers.

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The long modular pavilion at Årstaberg’s preschool doubled in size by adding an extra floor during the school holidays. This solved Hägersten/Liljeholmen’s need for many more preschool places.

The long modular pavilion at Årstaberg’s preschool doubled in size by adding an extra floor during the school holidays. This solved Hägersten/Liljeholmen’s need for many more preschool places.

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Even the smaller building at Årstaberg’s preschool was expanded from one floor (top picture) to a preschool with two floors. See films from the modular construction of Årstaberg’s preschool.

Even the smaller building at Årstaberg’s preschool was expanded from one floor (top picture) to a preschool with two floors. See films from the modular construction of Årstaberg’s preschool.

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