The project

The founding of a traditional grammar school with boarding facilities for girls and for boys.

Early in 2003, Renovabis sent Father Happel SJ to Kosovo with the task of carrying out a feasibility study into the possibility of establishing a grammar school in Kosovo. The results were available by the end of June 2003. The establishment of such a school in Kosovo was not only possible and to be desired, it should be regarded as a duty. In particular, the teaching of girls should be a priority; they should have the chance of a good education. The future grammar school should definitely have boarding facilities and be open to all children in Kosovo and the Balkan states.

From the idea to the project

In autumn 2003, Renovabis tasked the Jesuits of the German Province with carrying out the project, and simultaneously agreed to give generous start-up funds and to subsidise a large part of the building costs. Once again Father Happel SJ was entrusted with the responsibility for the project and sent to Kosovo.

Prizren as the location

Prizren is Kosovo's historical capital. The possibility of transferring the functions of the capital city from Priština to Prizren is something which is often discussed. In addition, Prizren is a city which has grown and developed naturally with time, in which a grammar school is of great symbolic and political value. Prizren is situated in the "German sector" of KFOR and according to the crime statistics it is the safest city in Kosovo. The Germans, both military and civilian, have a very good reputation here. Prizren is easily accessible from Macedonia and Albania, and therefore the grammar school is also open to children from these countries.

Integration into local structures

Father Happel SJ began his work in Kosovo by making contact with all the important organisations. He spoke with representatives of the local authorities, UNMIK, KFOR and CIMIK, consulted with the KTA and with NGOs who are working in Kosovo. He negotiated with the Prizren City Council and the relevant government ministries in Priština. Equally important was the presentation of the project to the Apostolic Administration in Prizren.

From all these groups he received not only great goodwill but also practical help in whatever they could do for him. One by one the various formalities and bureaucratic obstacles were overcome and the organisations taking part began to feel they were working together on a common project.

We are very grateful indeed for all the support we have already received and for all that we are sure to receive in the future in response to our needs. Thank you!

The Asociation "Loyola-Gymnasium" (ALG), the registered society of representatives of the grammar school and boarding facilities, was formed in December 2003 as a legal corporate body and registered as an NGO with UNMIK in Priština.

Building site

The building site, approximately 3.8 ha in area, is situated on the north-western perimeter of the city of Prizren, on the main transit road to Albania.The site was put at our disposal by the city of Prizren and it was signed over to us by UNMIK on 11th May 2005 for a period of 99 years. It was entered in the land registry on 15th June 2005.

Invitation to tender

In January 2005, tenders for the building contract were invited. Within the stipulated time we had received 11 tenders from interested parties. On the final day, four bids were submitted to the five-member selection committee for consideration; Global was declared the winner.


Awarding of the contract and the start of building work

On 24th March 2005, the building contract with Global was signed and as early as 16th April we were able to celebrate the laying of the foundation stone.


Official opening

Only five months later, on 12th September 2005, parts of the school and boarding facilities were officially opened. Classes began for 184 children the following day. This was only possible because of the rapid building methods used and the commitment of all involved. At times there were over 200 people working on the building site. The Deutsche Technische Hilfswerk (German Technical Relief Organisation) supervised the work. Renovabis bore the lion's share of the costs of the first stage of building work.




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