Construction and long-term maintenance of modern schools in Greece’s Attica region

The Attica Schools project comprises two public-private partnership contracts involving the financing, design and building of 24 schools, and their operation and maintenance by private sector construction partners for 25 years following their completion. All of the schools are located in Greece’s Attica region and the project addresses shortcomings in the region both in terms of quality and quantity of school buildings.

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One of the schools constructed in Greece as part of the Attica Schools project. © European Commission Representation in Greece One of the schools constructed in Greece as part of the Attica Schools project. © European Commission Representation in Greece

" Penteli was in favour of a public-private partnership from the start. With EU funds and 13 000 m² of land from the municipality, an ultra-modern two-school complex has been created with an indoor gymnasium and three outdoor basketball courts "

Dimitris Stergiou, Mayor of Penteli

The schools can accommodate a total of approximately 6 500 students. One of the two contracts covers the construction of 14 schools in seven municipalities with an overall population of around 1.1 million. The other entails the building of 10 schools in four municipalities, which together are home to some 775 000 inhabitants.

Construction of the schools allows students to learn in optimum educational conditions with top-of-the-range infrastructure. The classrooms are modern, safe and environmentally friendly, and managed in accordance with stringent quality and performance standards.

Structural problems and lack of maintenance

School buildings in Greece are often beset by shortcomings, including structural problems and lack of maintenance. In many areas there are too few schools to cater for all pupils in such a way as to meet teaching requirements.

The new schools solve problems of limited capacity and shared buildings. Moreover, they are highly self-sufficient in terms of energy consumption and represent a ground-breaking concept in Greece. They have features such as facilities for pupils with special needs, green roofs, rainwater management and water recycling systems, roof-mounted solar energy panels, floating staircases to save space, thermally insulated outer walls and floors and synthetic floor coverings in sports areas.

Thanks to the arrangement to ensure maintenance of the schools for 25 years, security is sufficiently tight to allow local organisations use of the sports facilities and multi-purpose rooms. Furthermore, construction of the buildings has created around 200 jobs.

An innovative funding structure

An important feature of Attica Schools is the way in which it is financed. This has been done by combining European Union funds supplied through the European Regional Development Fund via the JESSICA financial engineering instrument for urban areas and the European Investment Bank, with investments from Greek and international banks and contractors’ private capital.

This innovative funding structure is particularly significant for the European Union as it constitutes a means by which countries with fiscal constraints can invest in much-needed social infrastructure. In recognition of its financing structure and the first-class specifications of the schools, the project received the 2014 ‘Education Project Finance Deal of the Year’ award from World Finance magazine.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Attica Schools” is EUR 110 000 000, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 35 800 000 through the “Attica” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date