Two more schools opened within the SMART SCHOOLS project

The SMART SCHOOLS project, dedicated to contribute to sustainable development in the cross-border area, has finished reconstruction of the Primary School “Ivan Goran Kovačić” in Gradačac and Primary School “Gornja Tuzla” during March 2019.

As one of seven projects co-financed within the Programme Priority Axis 2, the SMART SCHOOLS project aims to introduce energy efficient investments and renewable energy sources to public schools in the Brod-Posavina County in Croatia and Tuzla Canton in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The partnership’s idea is to increase school capacities in the field of energy management and increase energy efficiency of school buildings as well.

With the installation of thermal insulation and heating boilers based on pellets, the “Ivan Goran Kovačić” and “Gornja Tuzla” schools gained the title of the fourth and fifth smart and energy efficient school reconstructed within the project. In this way, these two schools used EU co-financing to ensure much warmer classrooms for students and better work conditions for school staff.

“This school has remembered hard, sad and nice days since its establishment. However, this is one of the most important days in the history of this school. I would like to thank to the Government of Tuzla Canton for co-funding the energy reconstruction of this school within the Crossborder Cooperation Programme. I believe that these activities will provide much better conditions for work of our students and teachers.“ – stated the municipal mayor mr. sci Edis Dervišagić during the opening of the Primary School “Ivan Goran Kovačić” in Gradačac on 7 March 2019.

Altogether, partners have reconstructed five schools during the 18 months of SMART SCHOOLS implementation. Two more schools will be reconstructed in the next 6 months to demonstrate EU support in reducing CO2 emissions and introducing energy efficiency.

The opening of the Primary School “Gornja Tuzla” on 20 March 2019 was attended by Mr Osman Puškar, the minister of economy in the government of Tuzla Canton: “We have implemented a good programme and we have managed, together with the non-governmental sector, to ensure that Tuzla Canton has a proactive role in attracting foreign investors. This project is changing us and brings us closer to the European standards and that is what we have made.”

After the ceremonial opening of both schools, round tables were held on the topic „Effects and potentials of energy efficiency in public sector“. The events were used to discuss effects of energy efficiency measures in public buildings, the importance of projects co-funded by the EU and new opportunities for cross-border cooperation.

In addition to these reconstructions, previous project activities included competition between 105 schools of the Brod-Posavina County and Tuzla Canton in energy savings; a seven-day camp for young innovators and a training for energy managers.

Photos by crp.org.ba.
The SMART SCHOOLS project is implemented by 5 partners from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina within the Programme Priority Axis 2: Protecting the environment and biodiversity, improving risk prevention and promoting sustainable energy and energy efficiency. The total budget of the project is 1.644.127,82 EUR and the total EU co-financing is 1.395.864,49 EUR of ERDF and IPA II funds. The project started on 1 June 2017 and is expected to finish on 31 August 2019. For more information on the project, visit the website of Association Centre for Development and Support (LP): http://crp.org.ba/interreg-prekogranicni-projekat-2/

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