From Iceland — Dangerous Draught Closed Down A Playschool

Dangerous Draught Closed Down A Playschool

Published November 1, 2013

Children, staff member and one mother were injured at Reykjavík’s most expensive schoolhouse before changes were made to the building to prevent dangerous draught circulating indoors.

The brand new building, in suburb Norðlingaholt, cost 4 billion ISK but beside the draught, its acoustic generates too much noise inside, RÚV reports.

As soon as the playschool opened it became clear that the schoolhouse’s was causing problems; the draught that circulated within it when doors were opened was too fierce.

The principal made several complaints to the city administration, demanding that necessary amendments would be made, but was told there was no budget for that.

But a long list of accidents caused by the draught eventually led to the closing of the playschool.

Last June, an interior door slammed back on a child’s arm.

In August, a front door slammed back on a child’s fingers and later that month, a door to a cloakroom clanked shut so hard that its window cracked and a piece of glass flew into a group of children getting dressed for outdoor activities.

Thankfully, none of them got injured but a staff member was hit by the glass piece on the thigh, in similar height as a child’s head would normally be.

Mid-September, three draught incidents occurred the same day: first a child got its fingers bruised by an interior door slamming back, then a front door clanked shut with so much force that its glass broke and the doorframe cracked.

A pump had been fitted on that particular door to prevent it from clanking shut but it gave into the strong draught.

Finally, a mother picking up her child was hit on the arm by a slamming door, so hard that she fell to the floor.
After these incidents, the playschool’s principal declared she couldn’t ensure the safety of people in the building and that the playschool would have to close down.

“It is simply not acceptable to have a death-trap in a playschool,” she wrote in a letter to the city council.

Necessary alterations have now been made to the schoolhouse and the playschool has opened again.

The principal declined speaking out about the case to RÚV but expressed a relief that no serious injuries had occurred and said that the problem had been successfully solved.

Councilman Kjartan Magnússon, from the Independence Party, has expressed astonishment over how many problems there can be in such a new building, which also happens to be the most expensive schoolhouse in Reykjavík where each square metre cost around half a million ISK.

He told RÚV that’s exceptionally dear and furthermore, that the noise inside the building is over limits and that problem is being looked into as well.

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