Marseille commits to renovating 174 schools by 2030

Surrounded by a large part of his deputies to mark the solemnity of the moment, in front of a blue and white background in the colors of his city, the mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, presented, Monday, October 11, the outlines of his highly anticipated ” school renovation plan ”, describing the operation as “Largest project initiated by Marseille since the 1960s”. This plan, which should see its first sixteen projects start in 2022, concerns 174 schools out of the 470 in Marseille. And represents a total investment of 1.2 billion euros, over a period that the Marseille chief executive estimates “Between eight and nine years old ”, Ie by 2030.

While giving priority to the renovation of existing schools, the plan provides for the construction of 30 new school groups. Creations that will emerge from the ground “In the sectors where the needs are the most pressing », Assures Pierre-Marie Ganozzi, deputy in charge of the plan. “Marseille is one of the few French cities where the population of primary school students is increasing. But some schools are emptying while others are at saturation point ”, notes the chosen one. The Marseille municipality has set itself a target of 80 schools treated by the end of its mandate in 2026. The 94 other sites being dismissed after the next municipal ones.

Elected in June 2020 on a program where the absorption of unworthy establishments was among the priorities, the members of Printemps Marseille know they are expected on the issue. The school scandal, denounced in 2016 by the newspaper Release, sealed the end of Jean-Claude Gaudin’s fourth term (Les Républicains) and was one of the driving forces behind the victory of this left-wing, environmentalist and citizen coalition, now led by Benoît Payan. A political dimension that the mayor of Marseille does not forget.

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“Sewing up the city”

“The school is the first skill, but also the first responsibility of a municipality”, he recalled Monday morning, making this plan “A political choice, a choice of term of office”. “How could we accept that in Marseille, under the former mandate, the city could invest on average 20% less in schools in the northern districts compared to those in the southern districts? “, asks Mr. Payan, who sees his project as a tool that should “Contribute powerfully” reduce social inequalities and help “Sew up the city”. As of September 2020, the city council voted for an envelope of 30 million euros to carry out emergency work in schools. A sum entirely consumed, which, according to Pierre-Marie Ganozzi, made it possible to resolve the security problems noted in 98 establishments.

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