Spitak Kamar, a company owned by Armenian MP Aragats Akhoyan, has been building a new school in the Aragatzotn village of Vardenis for the three years now.
No one will hazard a guess as to when the school, planned to accommodate 100 pupils, will be completed.
Presently, the structure is flooded with rain water because the roof was never completed last year. Workers have drilled holes in the floor to let the water drain down from the second floor.
Plastering work on the walls, as a result has been ruined by the water. Asatour Kocharyan, a representative of the construction company, says the damages areas will be done over.
The local community was never presented with a blueprint for the new school. But they have discovered three major irregularities.
The septic sewer is being built a mere 20-25 meters from the school. Second, the net fencing around the school will not last more than two years due to the damage caused by grazing animals. Lastly, there’s an issue with the school’s exterior walls. According to the original plan the walls were to be finished with cement and then painted. Such a finish would have to be reapplied in a year or two.
School Principal Avetik Avetisyan says that his budget doesn’t allow for such luxuries. As a substitute, the exterior will be finished off with facing stone.
Village Mayor Kamo Petrosyan wrote to the Ministry of Urban Construction regarding these concerns.
Lilit Hounanyan, a specialist with the Armenia’s State Health Inspectorate’s Division of Hygiene, told Hetq that the septic system at the school doesn’t fall under her office’s purview and stated that no one is supervising the work.
Hounanyan said that in the past monitoring was carried out and a minimum distance of 50 meters from the school was set. Today, the norm is set according to construction codes.
Rouslan Khachatryan, who runs the lab at the Testing Center for Urban Construction Projects, said that the minimum norm was 6-9 meters. “If the villagers are concerned that the septic tank will be in the football field or on school property they can take it up with the project designers and move the thing,” he said.
|Principal Avetik Avetisyan||The present school is classified as 4th degree derelict|
Principal Avetisyan says that the village desperately needs the new school building.
It seems that MP Akhoyan immediately got wind of our visit for he called Avetisyan, promising him that the new school would open its doors come September 1.
MP Akhoyan told Hetq that the reason his company is taking so long to complete the school is that the original blueprint was faulty and had to be revised.
Akhoyan promised to familiarize himself with the villagers’ concerns and, if possible, relocate the septic tank and come up with another solution for the building’s exterior.
According to Armenia’s State Corporate Registry, Spitak Kamar (White Arch) is 100% owned by Aragats Akhoyan and his son Hayk serves as director.
The company has accumulated a number of debts and has been sued in the courts.
Photos: Nareg Aleksanyan
Photo of MP Aragats Akhoyan from his Facebook page