Loire-Atlantique: due to lack of space in their school, these students returned to a yurt

Since the start of the school year in September 2022, Claire Rouinsard’s CM1-CM2 students have been taking classes in a 68 m2 yurt in Treffieux (Loire-Atlantique). ©Photos Cécile ROSSIN

While the sixty other children of public school La Hulotte, in Treffieux (Loire-Atlantique), made a traditional return to their respective classrooms, Thursday September 1, 2022the 20 students of CM1-CM2 have put their school bag in it a large 68 m2 yurt placed in the schoolyard!

The establishment had to need a 4th room of class and this is the option chosen by the city council, in the absence of being able to carry out the planned extension.

An extension that has become too expensive

Treffieux: La Hulotte public school, yurt classroom
Because the planned expansion of the school could not be carried out, the town hall opted for a yurt, a much cheaper solution. ©Cécile ROSSIN

“Between the moment the architect gave us the estimate for this extension project and the result of the tender, we achieved an increase of 41 points (%)! “explains Mayor Didier Bruhay. Announced around 255,000 € originally the expansion was to eventually costs more than € 413,000 excluding VATafter the sudden rising cost of raw materials.

So we gave up on this project for a while. But in our city council, someone suggested this yurt idea.

Didier Bruhay, Mayor of Treffieux

Information taken from the only French manufacturera company based in the Vendée, the elected officials endorsed this idea and the structure was erected in May 2022 for a total cost of the work (including earthworks) of €65,000.

“When the municipality presented this project to us, we thought it was interesting. We have been able to do a few small activities in it since June,” says Claire Rouinsard, the teacher who has moved into this new type of classroom.

A “soothing” and “warm” setting

Treffieux: La Hulotte public school, Claire Rouinsard, mistress of CM1-CM2 in the yurt.
The mistress appreciates the “soothing” setting of the yurt. ©Cécile ROSSIN

Already a fan of classical arrangements specific to the making “a serene and calming environment” even before the installation of the yurt, the teacher fully adheres to her new space.

“This round side automatically leads us to focus on the light again brought through the central pit (made by a kind of canopy at the top of the structure). Whoever says different space says a different layout for the tables: hence their bow arrangement Claire Rouinsard noted.

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And all this wood and white of the walls enhance this bright and warm side.

Claire Rouinsard

Of course there is also some drawbacks : for example the lack of toilets in the immediate vicinity. “That’s why it had to be the older class,” the teacher notes. The path between the yurt and the rest of the school – relatively short, however – is also not sheltered from bad weather.

Insulation not optimal but…

more embarrassing, the thermal insulation is not ideal : “We have installed a heat pump and a small air conditioning to maintain the temperatures,” says the mayor of Treffieux.

And sound insulation is non-existent ; which creates problems when preschoolers continue their break while the “greats” resume classes.

“When you’re inside, you hear the noise outside as if you were there yourself,” notes Rayane, 9 years old. Not enough to make him trade “his” yurt for a regular room.

I like it because it’s a space where you can look out. It’s big and it’s beautiful.

Rayanne, 9 years old

… kids love it

Treffieux: La Hulotte public school, class in the yurt
Despite some inconveniences, the students enjoy returning to their wonderful classroom after the break. ©Cécile ROSSIN

The same chorus on the part of Naomi, also 9 years old and who says she is “very happy to be in a yurt. It’s a great experience she discovers, she who “didn’t know the word” and still tends to “confuse it with yogurt! she laughs mischievously.

As for the sounds from outside, she says she appreciates hearing ‘nature’, even if the rain on the glass roof surprises her ‘at first’, notes her mistress.

It’s always with visible pleasure that the children and the teacher return to their seats in their amazing classroom after the break. And that is already a great success.

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