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05 November 2014

First ‘School of Tomorrow’ opens in Belgium

The Londerzeel technical secondary school has opened in Flanders, Belgium. It is the first school opened under the country’s ‘Schools of Tomorrow’ initiative. Mott MacDonald is acting as lenders’ technical advisor on the six-year programme on behalf of DBFM Scholen van Morgen, a special purpose company responsible for the design, construction, financing and 30-year maintenance of the schools.

The ‘Schools of Tomorrow’ programme has been developed to bridge the gap between funding needs and available resources for school infrastructure in Flanders and Brussels. 165 schools will be built or renovated under the initiative, with a total build area of 625,000 sq m. A total of €1.5 billion will be invested, making it one of the largest public private partnerships (PPP) in Europe.

Mott MacDonald is providing due diligence and construction monitoring for each individual school, as well as the overall ‘Schools of Tomorrow’ programme.

Philippe Rapin, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “Given the scale of the programme and the diversity of the projects involved, it is critical that advisory services to the lenders are comprehensive yet simple. We have developed a systematic reporting methodology at both programme level and for each individual school, allowing the lenders to make informed decisions within a tight timeframe.”

“As this is the first PPP of its kind and scale, Mott MacDonald’s vast expertise in risk management has proved to be a valuable contribution to the overall success of the scheme,” Philippe added.

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