Walterswil/Hünenberg , 07.06.2021

Construction of the new road marks start of International School expansion

The International School of Zug and Lucerne (ISZL) has plans for its Baar location. The campus in Hünenberg has also grown.

The appearance of the school campus at Walterswil will change significantly in the coming years. The International School of Zug and Lucerne (ISZL) and the Don Bosco Foundation are planning an expansion, as the private school now needs more space. 1,219 students attended classes at the two Zug locations in Walterswil and Hünenberg Bösch in the school year 2019/2020.

The starting signal for the expansion in Walterswil has now been given, and the ground-breaking ceremony for the new access road and the sports field of the ISZL took place a few days ago, on the area that is temporarily used as a parking lot. Paul Langenegger and René Zihlmann from the Don Bosco Foundation, Jennifer Bayard from the ISZL sponsorship, school director Barry Dequanne and the Zug building director Florian Weber attended the ceremony.

The new access road, which will be 225 metres long, is intended to solve the traffic problem involved in bringing and fetching the students: There is often a queue of cars here at peak times at the moment. The new road will connect to the Sihlbruggstrasse, and the work should be finished in June 2022, according to a media release from the ISZL. The Walterswilerstrasse will later be converted into a cycle path and walkway, with the Walterswilerstrasse junction being redesigned.

A new schoolhouse at the end of the road
The construction of a new schoolhouse is also planned in the subsequent stage, which is based in development plan created jointly by the Don Bosco Foundation and the school, and which is legally binding. Some of the lessons currently take place in temporary buildings, and the new building will replace these, as well,as providing additional school space. The new schoolhouse will be located at the end of the new road. The project also foresees the opening-up and re-naturalisation of part of the Aspentöbelibach stream area. New trees are to be planted along the stream, and the builders also want to realise an area with a park-like nature.

Photo 1: The ground-breaking ceremony for the new street has taken place (from left): Paul Langenegger and René Zihlmann from the Don Bosco Foundation, Jennifer Bayard from the ISZL sponsorship, school director Barry Dequanne and the Zug building director Florian Weber.
Photo 2: With alphorn sounds, the ground-breaking ceremony was musically framed.

Picture 3: An overview plan of the plant in Walterswil.
Picture 4: The Walterswil campus from the Vogelperspektive.,
Photo 5: The ISZL has been able to rent rooms in this building in Hünenberg Bösch.

Photos 1 &2: Matthias Jurt, all others : PD

Details of this stage are not yet known at the moment, but a working group consisting of representatives of the school and the architects are already in the middle of the planning. If everything goes as planned, the new school building could be ready by the end of 2023, according to the ISZL homepage. The responsible parties do not want to comment on the planned investment costs at the moment, according to communications manager Tanja Miserez.

A new contract is nearing completion
According to Paul Langenegger, Vice President of the Don Bosco Foundation, the Foundation has invested more than CHF 30 million in conversions and new buildings since the beginning of the partnership, "so that the premises can be adapted to the operation of a rapidly growing school". The ISZL, which has rented the complex from the foundation since 1997. Daniel Urech, President of ISZL, is quoted in the statement as follows:

"We are very pleased about the plans to improve access around the school and to replace the temporary classrooms for our 5th grade students."

In addition, they are grateful for the strengthening the partnership with the Don Bosco Foundation.

This cooperation has not always been so straightforward. There was even a short-term diversion from the common path in 2017, when the ISZL wanted to buy the Trumpf property adjacent to the campus in order to realise an extension there. These plans were rejected, however, and the parties sat down together again at the negotiating table. The elaboration of a long-term, comprehensive usage contract for the entire area is now nearing completion, as the school states on its homepage. Some of the school buildings will be transferred to the ISZL with building rights, while the listed buildings, such as the church or the Wettingerhaus, will remain in the possession of the foundation.

Hünenberg: New rooms in the immediate vicinity
There is also news about the campus in Hünenberg Bösch, where the "High School" is located. The ISZL has concluded a lease agreement with the ownership of the building at Rothusstrasse 22 (the Harley-Davidson business). The school has been able to take over several rooms there, which it will use as classrooms, lunch rooms and offices. The property is located in the immediate vicinity of the existing school building at Rothusstrasse 4b.