It’s a warm afternoon in Perlach, the beginning of the evening rush hour traffic roars from Putzbrunner Strasse on one side and Heinrich-Lübke-Strasse on the other – but Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo don’t let that bother them. Because the two are engrossed in a football match, here on the Böglwiese, where a dozen young people are chasing the ball, including two boys in the jerseys of world stars.
Almost every day there is football on this meadow, which is around 100 by 100 meters in size, and sometimes several games are played at the same time. Not only do several clubs train here, but also many recreational footballers, especially on weekends, as well as a cricket group, Frisbee and badminton players, joggers and walkers. But now this last larger green space in the center of Perlach is under threat. Because containers are to be set up on more than half of the area – as alternative quarters for the elementary school on Theodor-Heuss-Platz, while the school center there in Neuperlacher Wohnring is being demolished and rebuilt.
This plan caused unrest and resentment in Perlach. How great the anger is, Bernhard Helm can even express in numbers: More than 2,200 people – “more than I would have ever thought,” he says – have so far submitted his online petition called “No construction on the Böglwiese!” signed. For more than 20 years, Helm has lived just a stone’s throw from the green area, which according to him is a “point of identification” in Perlach – “comparable to Pfanzeltplatz and the Hachinger Bach”. When he found out about the plans for an interim school, he was shocked, says Bernhard Helm. “I thought to myself: people need to know that. That’s why I initiated this petition.” It is now also supported by the ÖDP; In addition, a citizens’ initiative for the preservation of the Böglwiese has been founded.
According to the city’s plans, a three-story U-shaped container system is to be set up there on an area of around 60 by 50 meters. It is intended as an alternative quarter for the elementary school on Theodor-Heuss-Platz, which forms the local school center together with a special educational support center. According to a city council resolution, this is to be demolished and rebuilt at the same location, which is why an interim residence is needed for the construction period. After a long search, the department for education and sport came up with the following solution: while the special needs school is moving into the existing modular buildings of the Neuperlach school on Strehleranger, the primary school is to be accommodated in containers on the Böglwiese – probably from the 2024/25 school year, for a maximum of five years .
Of course, the opponents of this plan fear that the interim school is only a first step towards a permanent and comprehensive development of the green space. “Experience shows that what is once there is never dismantled,” says Bernhard Helm. He and his colleagues from the citizens’ initiative brought a number of alternative locations into play, including the old kindergarten of the European School, the sports field on Theodor-Heuss-Platz and the container building of the Pfanzeltplatz School. The Department for Education and Sport says that these options have been examined – but they are “out of the question for various reasons,” says a spokesman. In the meantime, the city council faction of the ÖDP and Munich-List has applied for the former Allianz building on Fritz-Schaeffer-Strasse, where the temporary use project Shaere is currently located, to be used as an alternative quarter.
Local politicians are calling for a round table
In the meantime, the Ramersdorf-Perlach (BA) district committee has also received a number of suggestions for alternative locations. In addition, there are various letters from the citizenry, which either fear risks on the way to school at the targeted location, warn of a loss of “quality of life” in Perlach or simply express their anger that this “place to live, to relax, to breathe in and out” is being built on should. As a result of this flood of criticism and suggestions, the BA has now unanimously decided to urge the establishment of a round table at the Department for Education and Sport. Not only should representatives from the town hall, the district committee, the school authority and the school family sit there, but also up to six representatives of the citizens’ initiative. Bernhard Helm, the initiator of the online petition, emphasizes that they want to accept this offer. “However, it would be important to us that the round table discussion was open-ended.”