#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The history of the Norilsk Industrial Institute, which is now the Polar State University, began in 1944. A new technical school was opened in the Old Town, in a two-story building on Octyabrskaya street.
Today, the former alma mater is empty, but at that time the whole Norilsk was working to improve the building: tables and chairs were made at the woodworking plant, chalkboards and drawing boards – on the brick one.
By the first academic year, the Norilsk combine also dressed all the students: in addition to uniforms, they had a winter uniform – coats and hats.
The first Norilsk students were even provided with housing – a dormitory for 100 people and a student canteen were equipped. When there were not enough rooms, the director of the technical school made sure that half of the residential building on the Octyabrskaya street was also given to students, and they were not charged for accommodation.
Such an inconceivable concern was associated with the fact that students arrived at the first educational institution in the Arctic not only from Norilsk and the surrounding area, but from all over the region: Dudinka, Igarka, Turuhansk and Krasnoyarsk.
They did not forget about the teachers, since there was no shortage of them. In the 1940s, professors of various directions were Norillag prisoners. As they said at the time, “the technical school corridors were overfilled with academicians”. These were former or active, but unconvoyed, prisoners. The names of many speak for themselves: Urvantsev, Kotulsky, Fedorovsky.
It was clear that a small two-story building would not be enough for the northernmost educational institution, and relocation to a new part of the city was not far off. The southern line – the future 50 Years of October street – was the facade of the new city and at the same time its “front door”. The building, designed by architects Nepokoichitsky and Minenko, was built in 1952. At that time, it was one of the most beautiful, largest and tallest ones. Six floors plus a functional loft and basement. And the elevator was one of the very first in Norilsk.
In the last issue of the History post photo project, we told that the Snowflake on Leningradskaya street is 60 years old.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive