Le Rosey Gains Another Approval on Road to Expansion
In the latest move toward Institut Le Rosey’s campus expansion, the Canton of Bern has given long-awaited approval on the building site permit and street renovation.
In April 2013, voters here in the Saanenland approved the plans for reconstructing Hubelstrasse, the street running up to the proposed campus. Hubelstrasse, which no longer meets current safety requirements, will be widened and repaved to accommodate the expected increase in pedestrian and motor traffic, including space for passing agricultural vehicles.
Erli bird catches the worm
At that time, Erli, the future campus location and building site, was also given the go ahead by the public. The applications were then sent for approval by the Canton, which had to take into account the many objections filed against the project.
The objections stem mostly from the households in the immediate region and large Swiss organisations which protect the environment. Many objectors would prefer that Schönried, with its small village core in the valley, be the site. Many also disapprove of the plan to transform what is now undeveloped land into commercial property.
A Rosey by any other name
Defenders of the project say the compound would be no different than a luxury hotel complex in size and look. Le Rosey’s new campus will also serve as the housing site for all male students, who are currently based in Gstaad. When completed, individual chalets in a small village-like setting.will host the entire student body. Male students will continue to board in Gstaad itself at the Sportzentrum until the new campus and residences are finished.
The elite boarding school has been active in Gstaad during the winter season for over 100 years, and maintains close ties with the Saanenland. Proponents say that keeping the school as a partner in the region is essential for the local economy and tourism industry.
Worst case scenario
The last step before construction can begin in earnest may very well be the Swiss Federal Court, if opponents wish to continue their fight to stop the project.