Old school saved from bulldozers after outcry

Updated: 2013-09-03 07:23

By Xinhua in Lanzhou (China Daily)

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More than 670 students in Gansu province have won their school back after the local government decided not to tear it down as planned.

Officials in Lanzhou, capital of Gansu, yielded on Saturday to public pressure over the demolition of the century-old Lanyuan Primary School, promising not to bulldoze it to make way for a central business district.

Yu Haiyan, Party chief of Lanzhou, announced the decision after he and the city government were under fire for the demolition plan.

Yu vowed that the city government would draw a lesson from the case and listen to public opinion on urban construction projects.

Officials of the Chengguan district, where the school is located, also apologized to the school and parents for the inconvenience the "poor demolition plan" has caused.

In line with the development agenda, the local authority had given the school a deadline to send students and teachers to two other primary schools before the end of this week, as the demolition project was due to get under way soon.

The school, built in the 19th century, is one of the oldest in Gansu. It is still regarded as one of the best public schools in downtown Lanzhou.

Li Chunrui, an education superintendent with the provincial government, said Chengguan district does not have enough schools.

"The primary task is to build schools, not demolish them."

(China Daily USA 09/03/2013 page4)