“The bathrooms are not clean, the classes are cold,” says Kristin Hasselind, a second-year journalism and communications major. Her complaints are typical of those often heard. Some wonder why the school cannot buy new heaters and renovate their oldest building on Lazenska street.
Miroslava Petrakova, head receptionist at the Anglo-American University, says one of the main problems standing in the way is that the building does not belong to the school. It is rented from the order of the Knights of Malta. The buildings are historic therefore “we are not allowed to make any renovations by ourselves,” Petrakova says.
But that does not stop students with classes hear from complaining. “I don’t enjoy going there,” says Hasselind. She thinks that the building needs big improvements and is not suitable for learning.
Petrakova says temperatures in classes in the Lazenska 2 building should be going up. “We installed special switches to both classrooms that will regulate heating during the winter,” she explains.
Until now it was the receptionist’s duty to go around and turn on heating. The units were switched off at night, resulting in cold classrooms the next morning.
Now, switches will automatically turn on heating every couple of hours including weekends and nights, which should make students far more comfortable. As for toilets that some students prefer not to use, Petrakova says AAU cannot do anything to improve them.
But changes are on their way with AAU’s pending move to a new building near the Malostranska metro, with reconstruction already underway. Classes at the new facility, which is being updated at a cost of 140 million CZK – an amount co-funded by Prague 1 town hall – are expected to start at the end of 2014.
In the meantime AAU sometimes seems nearly bursting at the seams with the influx of more students each year.
The plan is music to the ears of Julie Karabinova, a first-year politics and society major, who calls it “a very good idea.”