Melun. “The most innovative school in France” inaugurated by a Nobel Peace Prize winner

Denis Mukwege (left), Nobel Peace Prize in 2018, was present at the inauguration ceremony of the new school complex bearing his name. ©WL/ RSM77

“If it takes 9 months between conception and the birth of a child, it took us nine years for this project“, explained Louis Vogelmayor of Melun (Seine et Marne), in front of the parents of pupils, elected officials and local inhabitants of the Woody districtduring the inauguration official of school group Denis Mukwege, on September 13th. It was an opportunity to be able to present the ecological aspect and well thought out building, presence from Nobel Prize of PeaceDenis Mukwege.

An ecological and ergonomic thought

It is first of all a visit of the building which was proposed, allowing then to discover the corridors and classrooms which still smell of new and wood. “Entirely biosourced materials were used for its construction, well ahead of the environmental charters currently in force,” emphasizes Louis Vogel.

The school has been designed for the comfort of the students who will occupy the classes daily: “Ergonomic chairs, noise-reducing and colorful furniture, acoustic performance of the rooms, large windows, digital boards… The comfort is optimal for both students and teachers”, emphasizes then the town hall. Still with this concern for adaptation, two canteen rooms have been created, with furniture on the scale of the pupils due to the presence of nursery schools, but also of primary schools.

A cost of 14 million euros

But it is also a building that has been inspired by the latest events, be it the Covid and the ecological and energy emergency: “The ventilation and air filtering devices are close to passive consumption. The filters allow the air to be recycled, removing any negative particles”, then reports the architect behind the project.

Regarding energy, heating is linked to the geothermal network from the Almont capture well. The classroom floors are heated, but also cooled.

In the corridors, it is no longer a question of aggressive lighting on a timer which can cause energy expenditure, it is a light which accompanies the children.

Denis Mukwege, source of inspiration

“Dear Denis, you are a good man”, began the mayor of Melun, turning to Denis Mukwege, guest of honor and Nobel Peace Prize in 2018. Welcoming then the commitment of the Congolese gynecologist in his fight in favor of human rights, he then explained: “You gave a global echo of these barbaric practices. Only you go fast, with us you will go even faster. We in Melun are committed to supporting Panzi Hospital, which you founded. »

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The choice of the name of the Denis Mukwege school group was voted unanimously by the municipal council. All were touched by the story of “The Man Who Fixes Women” as he is nicknamed. The Nobel Prize himself made a short introduction: “Coming from a modest background, I have always been grateful to my parents for allowing me to go to school.

Education is an opportunity, but also a fundamental right.

Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize in 2018

If the school is for him the place that lays the foundations of citizenship, it must also be part of more modern fights: “I bet that this school group will accompany the students in the values ​​of the Republic. We must fight for equality between boys and girls and not reproduce the patterns of toxic masculinity; both in times of war and in times of peace. There followed a real ovation, confirming the oratorical power of Denis Mukwege, inspiring the crowd present at the inauguration.

The political class present was once again unanimous as to the depth of the speech and the honor of its presence: “It is a monument and these are the values ​​that it carries. He is a man of the future and a true symbol, ”reports Henri Mellier, the deputy in charge of Education and Civics. Brigitte Tixier, elected Melunian in charge of external relations, who contributed a lot to the project of the school group and close to Dr. Mukwege, was on a little cloud: “I have boundless admiration. He is a simple man. »

I had the chance to meet Abbé Pierre twice in my life and Denis Mukwege is similar to this man.

Brigitte Tixier, elected Melunian in charge of external relations

” It was time ! »

In his speech, Louis Vogel explained his relief to see the school group delivered on time before the start of the school year: “Despite the Covid, the price increases and delivery times, we made this school on time. I think it’s the most innovative school in France today. »

A feeling shared by Catherine Asdrubal, from the Réinventons Melun group: “It was time for this school to arrive! Many had hoped for it since 2018, especially for the first families to arrive in Woodi,” she reports.

According to several decrees, the last deliveries were very late: “The furniture arrived the day before the start of the school year. According to a decree, the multipurpose room is still missing, ”finishes the elected opposition member. On this point, Brigitte Tixier replies: “This room is adjacent to the nursery and we have to wait for some work. But it will be ready by the end of the year. Regarding the crèche, it will be more for the first half of 2023.

Catherine Asdrubal then continues: “I am surprised to see an extremely slippery and non-vegetated playground. Surprising to see paved courses that do not meet the climatic and educational challenges. “If the school is presented as innovative, the elected official doubts this point: “The region had not granted 4 million for the Innovative Project Neighborhood label. Is it really innovative? Finally, she hopes to see other installations coming:

We hope to see structures soon so that children can also have fun outside of school.

Catherine Asdrubal, elected opposition mayor of Melun

For his part, Arnaud Saint-Martin, elected opposition LFI, regrets the project as a whole: “We should have kept the wood and the last land in the city instead of building a neighborhood and a greenwashed school group. He also regrets the fact that “the co-developer, who is a participant in this town planning which wants to be at the forefront of sustainable development, is so highlighted by the protocol, even speaking before Denis Mukwege”.

On the other hand, he remains more perplexed about the district as a whole, which remains far from the city center: “The district is cut off from the city. New construction is good, but the eco-district remains very isolated. And good luck getting it out. In addition, there are still plenty of vacant units, but we continue to build. »

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Melun. “The most innovative school in France” inaugurated by a Nobel Peace Prize winner