For many decades the burgerspital in kronach was a home for senior citizens. Today, large parts of the building are empty. A new use must be found. The work with senior citizens is always in the focus of attention. A different approach was recently discussed in the city council – youth work. Opinions are divided on where the hospital should go from here.
"I thought that now finally nails with heads are made and with the renovation for senior-fair accommodations is begun", the chairwoman of the city's seniors' advisory council, hanni wachter, explains in a letter to the council members. The hospital has always been a place for the elderly. Wachter points out that there is a corresponding clause in the hospital foundation's articles of incorporation that defines its objectives. That is why she is surprised about the concept for youth work that is now on the table, which, among other things, provides space for the district administration office in the hospital.
Kronacher burgerspital: seniors should care for life
"there are empty houses and halls in kronach, and even empty school buildings have a dreadful existence", she continues. From your point of view, these were better alternatives for such a project. That is why it is clearly opposed to a project for the hospital that serves the purpose of relocating the office. An idea for the older generation, such as "living in the home" on the part of caritas, she found more purposeful.
Social pedagogue andy fischer from the youth welfare office of the archdiocese takes the opposite position in a letter to the council body. "It's not about destroying the idea of a place for seniors", he stresses against the background of possibly locating facilities for young people in the hospital. In his opinion, the idea of a kind of youth campus would be worthy of inclusion in the considerations – especially since the possibilities for housing seniors in the city and county have increased greatly in recent years.
In his view, the work for young people is also in line with the statutory purposes of the hospital foundation. After all, it is about social purposes. And financially, such a conversion would probably be easier to manage than a complete conversion into housing units for seniors.
As divided as the opinions of the public are, as differentiated was the topic discussed in the council body. While the proposal of the youth work found rough support from the ranks of the SPD, there were critical voices on the part of the CSU, not to overthrow the long tradition of the hospital as a place for the seniors to put aside.
In the end, against five votes, the compromise proposal of michael zwingmann () was followed, to immediately form a round table and to first examine both possibilities for their feasibility. But why is it so difficult to find a consensus here??
Stefan wicklein, head of the city council, sees the balancing act that the city and its council have to perform in this respect. "It's not so much about whether one solution or the other is good or bad, it's about what's affordable for the foundation.", he explains. The problem is that the city cannot simply assume the costs of renovation work or cover financing shortfalls, since it does not own the hospital itself, as wicklein pointed out at the council meeting. The building belongs to the foundation of the same name.
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in this case, the members of the board decide not as a city rate, but as a foundation rate. And the foundation has to see how it can shoulder the costs of the hospital and its renovation on the one hand, and generate income in the long term in order to fulfill its tasks on the other. On the other hand, it must of course take into account its mission to work with senior citizens. A quandary.
Wicklein expects high investments in case the burgerspital had to be brought up to today's standards to accommodate seniors. This is due to the fact that the hospital is an important monument. "It is difficult to approach the building structures in this way."
Despite these problematic conditions for working with seniors in the hospital, the administration is backing both options. "We are already in the process of evaluating the possibilities", the head of the hospital assures us in response to a question in our newspaper. "The mayor will soon invite to a meeting.
What the councillors of kronach say
Jonas geissler (CSU) sees the immediate use of the burgerspital for senior citizens as the "1a solution" for the future of the building. The alternative of youth work is sensible for him, in order to have an ace in the hole, if the senior concept should really turn out to be unfeasible. However, he considers a quick shot to be wrong. "Of course, you have to bring income to the foundation, but before we do something halay, we should rather take our time", he says. And it could be used in many ways for senior citizens: senior citizens' shared apartments, day care, apartments, a drop-in center, care for coma vigil patients, …
Marina schmitt (SPD) thinks that the foundation had a good tenant in the district administration office. That is why she keeps the idea of youth work in the hospital and warns against playing for time. Thanks to the secure income, the foundation and also the building could be revitalized (through the establishment of living quarters that could be financed in this way). In addition, the rental income made it possible for the foundation to carry out work with senior citizens. This does not necessarily have to take place in the hospital in order to fulfill the foundation's mission. Schmitt thought it was bad when the generations were played off against each other in the political discussion.
Michael zwingmann () cut the gordian knot in the council meeting with his suggestion to examine the two approaches (use for seniors or youth) in parallel and achieved a resolution proposal that was passed by a majority. "When you have two solutions, you have to check them both and then try them out", he emphasizes his position of not just clinging to a concept. This concerns the content as well as the monetary aspect. "In this situation, you can't push things through by hook or by crook, he says. Now the first priority is to put the hospital back into use.
chronicle probably in the time of the hospital foundations under bamberger bishop lambrecht von brunn (14./15. Century) a hospital was built. As can be seen from the history plaque of the lions club of kronach at the hospital, this happened "at the shrine". This meant the customs barrier from 1333, which was located at today's hospital bridge. In 1430 the hospital was burned down by the hussites, in 1462 it was rebuilt. A few years later the chapel was built (1464/67). In 1634 the spitalpfrundegebaude was burned down again by the swedes. It was rebuilt in the years 1644/45. In 1715/18 the plant was extended. In 1821 it was extended by a charity institution, which was used as a hospital until 1954.
Retirement home the burgerspital also served as a nursing/senior citizens' home until the recent past. From 1882 to 2004, it was under the management of the niederbronn sisters; from 2006 to 2014, it was run by the caritas district association. After the closure of the home, unaccompanied minor refugees were temporarily cared for there (2015 to 2017).
Roughly the listed building has about 1600 square meters of floor space and about 40 rooms – some with a bathroom and kitchenette. In addition, office and administrative space is needed.