Only the name of an inconspicuous bridge reminds us today that tanks once crossed Schleißheimer Straße. The so-called armored bridge, which connected the two former military grounds of the Kronprinz-Rupprecht barracks with the Virginia depot, is still standing today, although there is nothing to see of tanks anywhere. It forms the northern border for a new quarter, which is to be built on part of the Virginia depot along Schleißheimer Straße directly opposite BMW’s Research and Innovation Center (FIZ). While the car company is to take over a large part of the former barracks site, city planners and local politicians have been discussing its use at the Virginia depot for around two decades.
A zoning plan has now been developed for the site: In addition to the large biotope areas, a vocational school, refugee accommodation and other commercial areas are to be built on 6.3 hectares. The former Bundeswehr facility is still owned by the Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks (Bima), but is to be partly bought up by the city and the Free State.
Vocational school with sports facilities
There has long been talk that a school could be built at the Virginia depot. It is now becoming apparent that a “Vocational School Center for Mobility and Vehicle Technology” is to be built here, which will offer an apprenticeship facility for more than 2000 vocational students. As the municipal education department confirmed at the request of the SZ, three vocational schools, which are currently located at Elisabethplatz in Schwabing, are to move to Lerchenau. From an aesthetic point of view, the move will certainly not be an improvement for the students and teachers, because they will then have to leave the historicist building of the old elementary school, which was designed in 1900 by the famous architect Theodor Fischer. However, the close proximity to BMW could certainly bring technical advantages to the vocational and technical schools for power and vehicle technology, railways and electromobility. Because the Virginia depot is isolated from the city, the local district committee rejected it as a school location just under three years ago. However, the location was still being discussed for the grammar school, which opened this month at Lerchenauer Feld. The plans for the move of the vocational schools are still at the very beginning, said the Department for Education and Sport. It did not provide any information on the further use of the former elementary school in Schwabing. However, it is already certain that the school will be equipped with a gym, a soccer field, all-weather pitches and a beach volleyball facility. Outside of school hours, these should also be available to local sports clubs, which could at least reduce the lack of sports facilities in Lerchenau and Feldmoching to some extent.
A collective accommodation facility for refugees, which is operated by the government of Upper Bavaria, is also planned. It is designed as “follow-up accommodation” for around 200 people, i.e. for refugees who have already been registered in an initial reception center. The residents are to be accommodated on three floors. It has not yet been decided whether the accommodation will be directly on Schleißheimer Straße or further west behind the vocational school. When the plans first became public last November, local politicians in the district committee protested violently against this location. For humanitarian reasons, because the remote location offers no possibility for the integration of the residents. The property is still being built.
An industrial park is also being built in the immediate vicinity. Two buildings are planned on an area the size of a football field, the commercial buildings would be approached from the south via the Schätzweg. The urban planning department speaks of “higher quality trade around the subject of automobiles”. Similar commercial areas can be found south of the Schätzweg near the BMW site.
Schools, refugee housing and businesses are being built in the southeastern area of the Virginia Depot. Around 20 hectares, i.e. a large part of the former military area, will continue to be used as biotope and compensation area. Many rare animal and bird species live on the poor grassland, which the State Association for Bird Protection also takes care of. Because there could be ammunition leftovers in the ground, the city does not want to buy the site for the time being. For safety reasons, it is cordoned off with a fence and not accessible to walkers. Some environmentalists and the county committee want it to stay that way. Because humans and dogs could damage the sensitive biotope areas. Climate analyzes have also shown that the site is of great bioclimatic importance: it brings cold air into the city from the southwest.