Former Military Barracks Find a New Civilian Purpose

Total Croatia News

Alternative uses for some of Croatia’s military buildings.

Young scientists and entrepreneurs are getting ready to take over old military stables in Čakovec. The former military facility, which the state has given to Međimurje County, will house the so-called Metal Core, a development-education centre for the metal industry. The reconstruction of the stables will cost about 15 million kuna, and the money, according to the county prefect Matija Posavec, could come from structural funds of the European Union, reports Vecernji List on October 19, 2015.

The military facility in Čakovec is one of the good examples of how former military barracks can be adapted for civilian purpose. The facility has also housed the Međimurje College and the Knowledge Centre, and there is enough of free space for additional projects as well. Most of the unused military facilities in Croatia have been turned over to local self-government units completely free of charge. Rijeka has received the military complex at Trsat, Pula can now use military barracks “Karlo Rojc” and “Vladimir Gortan”, and the same thing happened in Zagreb, Slatina, and other places. According to information from the Ministry of Defense, on the basis of decisions made by the Government, Property Commission and other bodies, local self-government units have received a total of 126 former military properties.

“The facilities have been used in various ways. For example, in Rijeka and Zagreb they have been turned into university campuses, while in Varaždin and Bjelovar they have been turned into economic zones”, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement. The facilities which are no longer needed by the armed forces are being run by the Office for State Property Management, which makes decision on how each property will be used.

Varaždin is one of positive examples. At the site of former military barracks, a group of buildings with more than 450 apartments for socially-assisted housing has been built, as well as a new education centre, a school for children with special needs, and the Northern University campus. “In the former barracks near the Varaždin railway station, a student dormitory has been opened, one of the most beautiful in Croatia. There are plans to expand the student housing with 600 additional beds. Varaždin Music School is now located in the former Yugoslav National Army Culture Centre, while the former military command centre is now the headquarters of the Varaždin Police Department”, Varaždin mayor Goran Habuš said.

Unfortunately, not all examples are positive. Military facilities on the island of Vis, Kupari complex near Dubrovnik, military barracks in Zadar and dozens of similar facilities are still unused and waiting for their new purpose to be found.


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