International School of Helsinki expanding its operations

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International School of Helsinki expanding its operations

Image: © Arkkitehdit von Boehm–Renell Oy

The International School of Helsinki, operating in Jätkäsaari, is planning an extension to its current facilities. The International School of Helsinki (ISH) is a private educational institution that provides English-language early childhood education and care, basic education and upper secondary education to children and young people aged 4–19.

The school has been operating in Jätkäsaari since 1996. The school currently has roughly 470 pupils, and the expansion will facilitate the addition of more than 200 pupils.

Today, more than 16% of the residents of Helsinki speak a language other than Finnish, Swedish or Sámi as their native language. The demand for places at ISH continuously exceeds the school’s capacity, says Principal Kathleen Naglee.

“Our students come from more than 50 different countries and live in Finland for three years on average. The school is very popular particularly among families moving to Helsinki for work. We believe one contributing factor is that we provide a challenging academic program, yet we have no entrance exams, nor do we require new pupils to already be fluent in English. We also provide extensive support for learners with special needs,” says Kathleen Naglee. “Part of our mission is that students learn by forming connections with each other, as well as with our local community through events and initiatives throughout the school year.”

In order to be able to accommodate more students, the school has commissioned a plan for an additional wing of around 2,000 m2 to be built on the current school property at Selkämerenkatu 11. Like the current building, the extension will have five storeys.

The plan is to build the extension by Selkämerenpolku between the current school building and the Selkämerenpuisto park. The location currently features car parking spaces reserved for the school, which the school will relinquish once construction begins. Learning and group working facilities have been primarily planned for the new wing.

Discussion event for residents on 30 March

The building project of the International School of Helsinki is managed by the school’s own property company Helsinki Educational Development Company Oy, which has applied for a detailed plan revision with the City in order to implement the project on the school’s current property.
An event for residents focusing on the plan and the detailed city plan revision will be held on the school premises on Wednesday 30 March 2022 at 18:00–20:00 (Selkämerenkatu 11, Helsinki).

A participation and evaluation plan related to the detailed planning will be published on Monday 21 March 2022 at (in Finnish). Residents can give their thoughts and feedback to the City until 8 April 2022. The participation and evaluation plan will detail how the preparations for the detailed plan revision are coming along and how people can take part.

The City’s preliminary estimate is that the proposal for the detailed plan revision will be completed in the autumn of 2022. The decision on approving the detailed plan revision will be made by the Urban Environment Committee. The school aims to begin construction in 2023.


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