The impressive remodeling of the La Rábida Institute will culminate in March

2023 will undoubtedly be a remembered year for the province of Huelva in terms of education. The people of Huelva will see the La Rabida Institute in its maximum splendor after the comprehensive reform and modernization process that began in 2020. After two and a half years of hard work, the Board assures that the execution period for the works will end at the end of March.

The delegate of Educational Development and Vocational Training and University, Research and Innovation in Huelva, Carlos Soriano, assures that the remodeling of the emblematic building will be completed at the beginning of next year. “The work is in the last phasefocused on the finest work, on small details and on air conditioning, but we hope that in the coming months it can be finished and that it will ben the third quarter all the students are there enjoying the center”, he assured.

The delegate hopes that the dates will be met if there are no setbacks, he says, with the works supplysince “this has been what has somewhat paralyzed the speed with which the work was being carried out by the Díaz Cubero company, the concessionaire of the works.”

If so, next year Huelva will not only have an educational center equipped with complete equipment and state-of-the-art facilities, but it will once again see the one of its historic buildingslegacy of the architect José María Pérez Carasa.

“For me it will be the great infrastructure of Huelva this 2023, since we are talking about the most emblematic building in the city. That its use continues to be maintained and allocated for education is something very important. I think that here they are taking great care of the details Not only is a reform being carried out, but it is acting delicately to, on the one hand, protect the building and at the same time to condition it with the best technologies in order to do so more comfortable and accessible for the students”, explains the delegate.

“More expensive to reform it than to do it again”

Since the degree of protection of the building is maximum (Comprehensive Monument Protection, covering not only the historic building, but the entire plot), the aspect that it will look like will be more similar to that of “a museum” than to that of any other educational center in use. They assure from the construction company that “it has been more expensive to reform it than to do it again”, due to the state in which it was found and the great commitment that has been made to provide it with luxury and showiness.

“From the management and direction of the work, the materials that have been used have been very careful, being very particular and of high quality, which will give the building a great role, giving it even more value if possible.”

One of the most impressive are their volumes. “When you enter the main hall and see the height of almost four meters, the incredible dimensions of the stairs or the size of the classrooms, with wide spaces and huge windows…it’s impressive,” Soriano confesses. Likewise, the enormous structures that face the exterior give off a great lightwhich invites us to host different educational initiatives in the future.

The archive, the jewel of the oldest educational center in the province

But among all the completely renovated spaces (classrooms, common areas, departments, library, exhibition area at the entrance, a multipurpose space with a stage), one stands out with a special meaning that can be visited and consulted, not only by students, but by any citizen or visitor. Its about File, Archiveone of the jewels of the oldest educational center in the province.

A historical and singular archive that houses this center for its typology and its value. Since its opening in 1856, the Rábida Institute was the main secular and public educational institution in the province of Huelva for much of the 20th century, until the arrival of the university. Thousands of students and teachers have passed through its classrooms, many of them illustrious, such as antonia arrobasthe first woman to access secondary education studies in Spain, or the Nobel Prize Juan Ramon Jimenezwithout forgetting Jose Caballero, one of the main artists of the 20th century in our country, the physicist Juan Perez Mercaderinternationally recognized, or Jesus Hermida, journalist and television presenter, among many others. A center, therefore, a protagonist not only in the history of the province of Huelva, but also in the history of Spain. That is why all these illustrious students will have their space in the archive of this center: “An archive that will be open and can be consulted independently from the center, since it has its own entrance,” says the branch delegate.

what remains to be finished

According to Jesús Díaz Maltrana, a technician from the Andalusian Public Agency for Education (APAE), “what is considered a work has already finished“Now it remains to install the heating, the new deposit, the legalization of the fire service, finish the accesses, urbanization works, painting, gardening, metal carpentry, the beautification of the rear façade and the construction of the gym next to the educational center.

“This place required a plus, with special tiling, continuous floors, false acoustic ceilings… constructive solutions that border on the museum. That is why we have tried to give it the quality that a building of this size deserves”, he explains.

All the action has revolved from the beginning to leave the building in its original, primitive state, prior to the adaptation actions that were carried out during the 50-60s. “We have returned it to its original state. As for the facadeabove all, what is the most characteristic of this building, we have adapted it to fully respect its essence”.

The state of the covers was the main problem

Óscar Moya Fernández, in charge of the work at the Pérez Cubero Company, is very satisfied with the result, he says, after two and a half years of intense work.

“Now you can see how beautiful it is. You no longer see the demolition work, changes to the floor, new roofs… it has been hard. But when it reaches this state it is very satisfactory,” he says proudly, after contemplating how the people in the street when they contemplate the new image of the institute.

The former workers of the center, above all, are amazed at the result. The main problem of the building were the roofs. “They carried out a reform forty years ago and the roofs were not kept in their original state, but they put in some fiber cement plates that now by law can no longer exist in any educational center”, clarifies the works manager. This caused on rainy days they had to suspend even classes. It was one of the pathologies of the building that they have now corrected.

“To get to what we have today we have needed up to 90 workers on site at specific times”, says Óscar, celebrating that the countdown to see the students in the classroom is already beginning.

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The impressive remodeling of the La Rábida Institute will culminate in March