Ukraine’s Brand-New Estonian Kindergarten Building is Ready

Today, the 170-day deadline given to Estonian wooden building manufacturers for the design and construction of the Ovruch kindergarten was fulfilled. “It is a pleasure to announce that the building of a modular kindergarten has been completed on time, and handed over to the Estonian Centre for International Development (ESTDEV) for furnishing,” stated Annika Kadaja, CEO of the Estonian Woodhouse Association. The kindergarten will open its doors at the beginning of June.

“As we have built this kindergarten, we have proven to ourselves and others that, by using offsite solutions, it is possible to contribute to Ukraine’s reconstruction even when the country is still actively at war,” said Annika Kadaja. “This is an excellent example of cooperation between the Estonian private sector, the national government, and the partner county.”

According to Alo Tamm, CEO of the modular building manufacturer and partner, Harmet OÜ, the project’s greatest challenge was not the 170-day production and construction deadline, but transporting the modules to Ukraine. “Our company has sent thousands of modules to different countries, but never to a country with military operations,” explained Tamm. “The situation at the border can change in minutes. We had to take 34 trucks across the border, in three groups. The trip was not without obstacles, but today the modules have arrived and installed according to plan.”


According to Tarmo Needo, ESTDEV’s Head of Infrastructure Development Projects in Ukraine, many unofficial records were set throughout the kindergarten’s construction: “For example, the detail plan for the kindergarten was completed in just one and a half months. To design, build, and deliver modules in less than 170 days is a significant achievement, of which Estonian producers of wooden prefabricated modular buildings should be very proud.” Needo added, “With the completion of the Ovruch kindergarten, Estonia has shown itself to be a reliable partner in the reconstruction of Ukraine.”

Priit Luman, Member of the Management Board at Nordecon, the main contractor for the kindergarten’s construction, said that this project has three significant layers: “First layer for us is to be a reliable partner for the Estonian state and through this dynamic partnership convince other countries that rebuilding Ukraine can begin today. Second, with this project we want to showcase high-quality European construction culture for our partners in Ukraine. We are confident that our Ukrainian partners will benefit from our high standards and safety norms when taking on new projects in the future. Last but not least, it’s been important to involve our subsidiary, Eurocon, which despite the ongoing war, has been able to resolve all of the challenges they have encountered, from the fluctuating availability of materials to ensuring a consistent stream of electricity. They have truly done an excellent job.”

During the first stage of construction, four group rooms, common areas, a playground, and a bomb shelter have been completed, without which no kindergarten in Ukraine can operate. On a recent visit to Ukraine, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas also confirmed that the second stage of construction, which will provide the kindergarten with enough space for 160 children, will begin in the near future. ESTDEV will announce public tenders for the organisation and work of Phase II in the coming weeks.

The Largest Public-Private Cooperation Yet

The construction of a kindergarten in the Zhytomyr region is the first large-scale Estonian development project in which the public and private sectors have worked together toward a common goal. Our private partners are

  • Harmet OÜ, which won a state tender worth €1.7 million to construct and deliver the modules that make up the kindergarten.
  • Nordecon AS and its Ukrainian subsidiary Eurocon Ukraine TOV, secured a €780,000 public tender to carry out the main contract for construction.
  • Kumer Saag OÜ produced relevant furniture, a tender worth €59,510.
  • Metos AS provides the equipment for and installation of the kindergarten’s kitchen and secured a €33,289 tender for this effort.

In addition, several companies have offered their products and services free of charge. Tiit Sild’s Architecture Firm Sport OÜ created workable blueprints for the kindergarten, and Primostar OÜ supplied waterproofing materials for an underground bomb shelter. Sportservice OÜ donated sports equipment for the kindergarten. This project is also supported by Kitman Thulema AS and Eesti Puitmajaliit.

To bring the Ovruch kindergarten to completion, ESTDEV also works with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iceland, which contributed €66,000 to purchase furniture and media technology for the classrooms. The Government of Flandres contributed €100,000 towards training education managers and kindergarten teachers of the Zhytomyr region.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia has allocated €2.7 million to ESTDEV to manage the first stage of construction of the kindergarten.

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Estonian Centre for International Development is a government foundation that manages and implements Estonia’s participation in international development cooperation and humanitarian aid projects, with the aim of increasing Estonia’s contribution to global security and sustainable development.