The municipality sanctioned the handover as of 1 September. Currently the building houses Dobužinskis School that will be closed. The Jewish school of Sholom Alecheim should move to the renovated building in a year or two. The Jewish school currently operates in Justiniškės neighborhood.
Miša Jakobas, principal of the Sholom Alecheim School, told BNS the renovation could require 10 million litas (EUR 2.9m). He said he was concerned with where to get the the money from.
"The building is very old – it was build over 50 years ago, it will require extensive investment. It does not have sports or meeting facilities. The strategically good location is a good thing but we will have to make big investments, and, as a principal, I am worried about who will finance overhaul repairs of the school," the principal said.
In his words, the course of renovation will determine when the school will be able to move into the new premises.
"We will have to renovate it, and I don't know when we'll be able to move in – maybe in a year, two or even more, it will all depend on funding," he said.
The Vilnius municipality said it had already prepared a renovation project, pledging to look for funds.
Currently, the Jewish school operates in facilities of a former kindergarten. Jakobas said it no longer fitted all those who wanted to study there, adding that a record number of about 310 students was expected in the new academic year in September.
Once the Sholom Alecheim School moves to Žvėrynas, the school's current facilities will be transformed into a kindergarten, the municipality informs.
The Jewish school matter was discussed at a meeting between the Lithuanian Jewish Community and Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius in early July.
The Jewish school was opened in Vilnius in 1989, the enrollment numbers have been on the rise. While children of Jewish nationality make the majority of students there, it is also attended by Lithuanian, Russian, and Polish children.
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