A drop in pupil numbers has forced school boards to take a critical look at their lesson schedules in relation to their existing premises.
Over the coming years, many areas will see a shrinkage of the population as a result of outward migration and / or surplus mortality rates. Education is one of the first sectors to be affected by this, as fewer children are born and young people move to the larger cities. Smaller municipalities in particular have already been experiencing this phenomenon for a number of years now. In the years ahead, this development will come to affect more and more areas.
With the fall in pupil numbers, space in schools is becoming redundant and left empty. The fall in numbers also has financial consequences in terms of school income versus the expenses associated with utilisation of the school premises. Figures show, that in schools in those municipalities which have experienced the sharpest fall in pupil numbers, approximately a third of the school premises has become redundant. Following what can be described as a 'period of denial', the shrinkage in pupil numbers now features on the country's social and political agendas.
Alongside the shrinkage mentioned above, change is also taking place within our wider society: the economy, our work and home lifestyles, but also our vision for education. We naturally oblige with this dynamic. Until things come unstuck.
That is, until it transpires that a school is too small or too large for the number of pupils. Until government policy on education demands that school sites are amalgamated, or indeed, scaled-down. Until new learning models require a different allocation of space. Until poor indoor environment and sub-standard health and safety performances highlight the age of the school building.
In short: the traditional building solutions no longer suffice. From now on, we should assume that nothing is certain. And so De Meeuw sees shrinkage as an opportunity to optimise your building. We ensure that sustainable and flexible buildings appear in the right places, and that they are capable of satisfying the changing needs of education.
Everlasting buildings are no longer an option. It's now time for a new norm. Semi-permanent living is a form of building that is easily adaptable in terms of size, comfort and design. Adapting to growth or shrinkage is equally straightforward, by simply adding or removing building elements, changing or moving them, or by giving them a new shell. This type of building retains its economic value thanks to the fact the entire structure is reusable.
De Meeuw also creates room for: