Bonn · The city council did not make the decision easily, but in the end it gave the green light: The city archive can move into the Pestalozzi school – including the reconstruction and extension of the listed building. The cost will be about 29 million euros.
There were still some concerns, but in the end, the city council unanimously agreed to further planning to move the town archive to the listed Pestalozzi school in the Budapester Straße opposite the Stadthaus. In an urgent resolution, the administration considered the conversion together with two new buildings in the immediate vicinity for around 29 million euros. Recently, the head of the city archive, Norbert Schloßmacher, had urged the cultural committee to agree to the proposal in the May meeting. He had reminded the meeting once again that the first water ingress into the archive rooms underneath the underground car park of the town hall had occurred 13 years previously and was followed by further instances.
The administration had collected answers to a whole range of questions from the Jamaica coalition for the meeting. Among other things, it was said that the Rhineland Office for Archaeological Monument Conservation could not rule out the possibility that Roman graves might be found in the vicinity of the school, but that such finds could not be assumed to be present in the area of the construction site. According to the decision now made, the city can initiate the approval planning and the earliest construction start-date would be the second half of 2021. The construction period would last two to three years. Lutz Leide, head of the municipal building management, explained to the council politicians that “the ground has been so well examined that we have no concerns that anything similar could happen to what happened to the Beethovenhalle.” There, the poorly examined subsoil at the start of construction led to a considerable increase in the costs of the renovation.
Politicians are against further delays
At the beginning of the Council meeting, Brigitta Poppe-Reiners (the Greens) expressed her party’s wish to postpone the planning once again, also to check whether a higher energy standard could be achieved. Johannes Schott of the Bonn citizens’ Association said that although he could partly understand the Green Party’s point of view, another postponement would not see a resolution this year. Jürgen Repschläger, councillor for the Left Party, also urged a decision: “We have been violating the Public Records Act for years, which requires us as a city to protect our archives.” The CDU, SPD and FDP also opposed a further delay.
Schloßmacher took good note of the speeches from the public gallery in the Brückenforum and then said: “We have taken a decisive step forwards”.
(Original text; Philipp Königs, translation John Chandler)