06/07/2016
Home away from Home – School at Mamelodi
GELDENHUYS AND JOOSTE ARCHITECTS
South Africa
“A hungry child cannot digest their education” Grand D. Fairley. Meetse-A-Bophelo Primary School is about 3600m² and designed to accommodate 1200 pupils. It comprises of 30 classrooms, an Admin block, Media Centre and a Nutrition Centre.
Meetse-A-Bophelo Primary School is about 3600m² and designed to accommodate 1200 pupils. It comprises of 30 classrooms, an Admin block, Media Centre and a Nutrition Centre. These were the basic requirements set out by the partnership between the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) and The Arcelor Mittal Foundation South Africa. The main goal was to utilize alternative steel technologies within the cost parameter of conventional 'brick and mortar' schools and to then develop a prototype, cost efficient school building method, that could later be erected in other regions in kit form. The centrally placed Nutrition Centre, with a wrap around verandah, is the heart of the school. Here children are served a hot meal daily, prepared by volunteer parents from the local community. Fresh produce from the vegetable garden project run on site, supplement the feeding scheme. Three triangular wings, each housing a separate learning phase around an inner courtyard, pinwheel around the Nutrition Centre. The school was built using a combination of AM's Arval façade system panels for exterior walls and lightweight steel cladded internal dividing walls, which were fixed to IPE portal frames and bolted to raft foundations. Construction took place in two phases, as the existing school had to remain operational during the construction process and the existing dilapidated prefabs could only be demolished or moved after construction of the first phase. The entire project was completed in little over 12 months, almost half the time allowed by GDE to build a conventional school. 80% of the workers on site were recruited from the local community and the overall project costs, including the caretakers house, sports fields, landscaping, on-line computers and furniture came to no more than a conventional school at the end of the day. The Minister of Basic Education, me. Agie Motshekga, inter alia said the following in her address at the official opening: “I took advantage to invite education MEC's to join me to view this school. When we got here, we could only say “Wah!”. We could not believe our eyes. We were excited about the design, finishing touches, time it took to construct, and most importantly, the cost. Thank you ArcelorMittal”.
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