St Cyprian’s upgrading

2016-09-20 06:00
 In preparation for their 150th birthday, St Cyprian’s School has embarked on a project to upgrade the property.

In preparation for their 150th birthday, St Cyprian’s School has embarked on a project to upgrade the property.

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In preparation for its 150th birthday in five years’ time, St Cyprian’s School is ensuring the school and property are in top shape. They have embarked on extensive renovations at the historical building and grounds.

Infrastructural developments to replace facilities that the school has outgrown include a new swimming pool and standard size sports field, as well as upgrading and modernising the boarding school. Maintenance and internal modernisation of buildings such as bathrooms have been ongoing over many years, says principal Sue Redelinghuys. “Growth in and of the school is essential to the sustainability of preserving our heritage site. (We) desire to deliver campus that enhances our educational philosophy and stays true to our beautiful, historic campus.”

St Cyprian’s School bought the Nooitgedacht farm and moved to the farm in January, 1914. “It is our responsibility to manage the balance of old and new and we assume the same with sympathetic obligation. The school has been in close contact with the City of Cape Town and the province’s heritage custodians. Our heritage impact assessment has presented clear guidelines on the way forward during our modernisation and expansion programmes. The critical appraisal of our site has included taking into account all the trees. Sympathetic landscaping is critical to enhance our heritage structures and buildings,” she says.

Redelinghuys considers the site’s heritage value as “priceless”.

“As custodians of this incredible site, we take our commitment to maintaining and guarding its rich history most seriously. The school inhabits the space of Nooitgedacht farm, which dates back to 1708. The heart of the school – the chapel – was designed by Sophie Gray, the wife of Bishop Gray and founder of St Cyprian’s School. It was built in 1926.”

The school hopes to create a functional, user-friendly campus, says Redelinghuys.

“We aspire to bring facilities in line with the requirements of 21st century thinking and trends in order to develop our young women to ‘make the difference’ in their world. The school stands as a jewel on the slopes of Table Mountain and it is our duty to ensure its sustainability and position for future generations.”

Demand for placements has grown as people migrate to the Cape, says Redelinghuys, and the school will be building new classrooms to accommodate an extra class at each level of the Preparatory School.

“We need to build a swimming pool that can accommodate school-league events and offer popular growth sports like water polo. Hockey is a standard Cape sport and a full-sized field is required to accommodate the many teams of the school. We have a partnership with Good Hope Seminary which has use of a field in Orange Street, which St Cyprian’s School will develop and share with this ‘sister’ school.”

The project is set to be implemented over two phases, although the final scoping of both projects is still outstanding.

“The school would need to consider these costs and proceed on an affordability basis,” says Redelinghuys.

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