Enhancing educational facilities in rural Galicia, Spain

The rural area surrounding Vigo, the industrial capital of Galicia, Spain, is home to a large number of families who commute to the town for work. However, until recently, there was a limited amount of school places available for children in the area. EU funding has supported the renovation and expansion of the Centre for Preschool and Primary Education (CEIP) Mestre Martinez, enabling the school to accommodate increasing numbers of students and provide new and improved educational facilities.

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The Centre for Preschool and Primary Education in Galicia. © CEIP The Centre for Preschool and Primary Education in Galicia. © CEIP

" The project has served to improve the educational conditions and the surrounding areas. "

Roberto Santaballa Álvarez, Galician Department of Education

Previously, the CEIP Mestre Martinez Alonso (Mos) school had to make use of outdated and cramped classrooms. Thanks to this ERDF-funded project, the school can now accept twice as many students as before, its facilities have been increased and improved, and it has become more energy efficient and technologically advanced.

The school now offers a higher-quality educational facility to its students in a rural context, and the renovations have led to an overall improvement in the functionality of the school building and amenities.

A better school for students

The project – designed by a Spanish architect– doubled the number of classrooms in the school, meaning that up to 450 3 to 12 year-olds can be educated at the centre. This has also led to the creation of five new teaching positions, bringing CEIP’s total number of teachers up from 18 to 23. The school is now prepared to cope with an expected rise in enrolment based on the steady annual increase in student numbers between 2007 and 2015.

The Centre’s students now have access to a brand new gym, library, playroom and separate outdoor play areas according to age. The school is colour-coordinated for accessibility and the surrounding outdoor areas have been revamped too. Deciduous trees of high environmental quality have been planted including oaks, chestnut trees, and camellias which will give children the opportunity to interact with the surrounding natural environment and make the most of their rural setting.

Wider community benefits

The renovation has provided the school with an opportunity to improve its energy efficiency and reduce consumption by installing solar panels on the roofs, leading to fewer greenhouse gas emissions in the region.

The school’s restoration has also benefited the wider community by providing a public centre open to all for social and sporting activities outside of school hours, something the local area had lacked previously. Such incentives will contribute to social cohesion and inclusion and improve quality of life in the neighbourhood.

Details of the EU-funded project have been widely disseminated via local media and television. This, accompanied by the placement of informative posters throughout the execution of the work and the plaque placed in the Centre, should ensure increased knowledge of the involvement of EU funding in the renovation of public services in the area. This outreach aims to increase public awareness and support for the ERDF and its impacts among the local community.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Renewal of the ''Mestre Martinez Alonso'' School in Mos” is EUR 3 687 166, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 845 787 through the “Galicia” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date

20/08/2018