Will Vardenis be Without a School Come September?
Seismic specialists consider the school building in the Vardenis village of Aragatzotn Marz to be unstable. Snow melt in the spring collected in the basement of the school attended by 129 students. The drainage system does not work.The building has not been repaired since it opened some thirty years ago. Its foundations were shaken by the 1988 earthquake that jolted this section of northern Armenia. Seismic specialist examined the building only after Hetq wrote about the situation in an article entitled "Vardenis Diary: Structurally Unsound School Not Slated for Renovation", back in February. Government officials from the Social Investment Fund now say a new school must be built since it is pointless to repair the existing building. Village Mayor Kamo Petrosyan is concerned that the community will have no operating school come September. "If they aren’t going to repair the building and haven’t already started to build a new one, how can we start classes?" Maurice Yeghiazaryan, with the Social Investment Fund, says the maximum budget for the capital reconstruction of a school is 130 million AMD. If the costs are more, the plan is rejected. It will take more than this to renovate the Vardenis School. Schhol Principal Avetik Avetisyan and Mayor Petrosyan told us that the Aragatzotn Regional Governor was scheduled to visit Vardenis with Social Fund Director Ashot Kirakosyan, but that the officials never showed up. Aragatzotn Governor Sarkis Sahakyan assured us that they’d visit Vardenis in the next few days. He reported that since the school was a class #4 unstable building and a big structure, the proposal would be to renovate one annex of the school, thus bringing down the cost estimates. He added that renovation work would start this year if an agreement was reached with the Social Investment Fund.