According to the first document, the preschool education in Norilsk has been chronicled since 1937. Then, by the order of the Norilsk construction head, Vladimir Matveyev, the kindergarten was transferred from the Norilskstroy trade union committee to the responsibility of the sanitary department. According to the recollections, the first kindergarten for 35 children appeared in 1935.
The head of the first kindergarten was Sofia Vorontsova, the geologist Alexander Vorontsov’s wife. Later, she was replaced by the wife of another well-known Norilsk resident, the drilling foreman Grigory Saprykin, Marfa Saprykina. In 1939, there were both a kindergarten for 27 children and a nursery for 23 kids.
The first detached building of the kindergarten was located at the Zero Point – a wooden one-story building with carved plat bands on the windows, a fence and even columns. In 1942, the kindergarten No.2 for 60 places was built. It was the first one in the new part of Norilsk – in Gorstroy. A small two-story building was located in the courtyard of Sevastopolskaya street. The next kindergartens of the new Norilsk, which opened in the 1950s, were located on the first floors of the Stalin-era buildings, since all the efforts of the builders were given to residential buildings. One of those kindergartens is still working at Komsomolskaya, 18.
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Text: Svetlana Samokhina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive