The Jerusalem Municipality has backed down over plans to move the Experimental School out of the city center, according to opponents of the plan to move it to an alternative site. The Experimental school covers three acres of valuable downtown real estate between Hillel Street and Independence Park, which the city wants to rezone for 62,000 square meters of hotels, homes, public buildings and commercial space.
Lev Hair community administration chairman Dr. Ofir Lang says that several weeks ago Jerusalem Municipality director general Amnon Merhav decided against moving the Experimental School out of the city center. Lang said, "After prolonged discussion, the Jerusalem Municipality has decided that the school will remain in its current location. The possibility of extensive renovation of the building or rebuilding it is being considered together with additional uses for the site."
The Jerusalem Municipality said, "The Jerusalem Municipality is advocating a plan and upgrading of the city center. The plan includes up grading the Experimental School's building, establishing multipurpose uses, organizing public spaces, and improving Hillel Street, Menashe Ben Israel Street, Hasoreg Street and others. Improving Independence Park and the Mamilla Pool are also in the planning stages."
The Experimental School was founded in the 1970s as a radical alternative to conventional schools. Over the years, alternatives emerged and the school became closer to the mainstream but it remains a school that offers small classes, no exams or marks, many enrichment activities, no uniforms, and high parental involvement. The school offers classes from kindergarten through 12th grade.
The Lev Hair community administration argues that the school, which has been neglected over the years, can be renovated and remain where it is with other uses for the land also introduced. The administration adds that a city center needs the school. Lang said, 'We think that a successful city center is a center in which there is a mixture of uses, not just restaurants and buildings for tourists. The school brings all sorts of population groups that would otherwise never come to the city center, including young families and teenagers."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 27, 2018
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