Businesses unite to rebuild school

2011-04-18 00:00

BUSINESSPEOPLE from the community of Woodlands have pledged their support to rebuild Woodlands Primary School.

Former school pupils and interested stakeholders attended a meeting held on Thursday that was addressed by Louise Lecordier who is on a mission to rebuild the school.

Lecordier said she was pleased with the response from all the people who came to hear what the stakeholders had to say about the project.

A former pupil at the school and an engineer, Lecordier said she saw a need to rebuild the school that is still in prefab buildings and has roofs made of asbestos after 35 years.

She said the primary focus of the building project is to create a beautiful and sustainable yet adaptable learning environment using, cost-conscious building materials and maintenance-free or low-maintenance finishes while providing aesthetically refined architecture.

“We want robust architecture without being institutional.

“Resource conservation and thermal comfort for the users will be achieved though passive energy and green building principles,” said Lecordier.

In essence, she said, they want to totally eliminate the potential health risk posed by the asbestos.

“Development of our communities and schools is not a role for government alone.

“We all acknowledge that government does have a massive obligation in terms of infrastructure delivery, but we also have a responsibility to assist government where we can.”

Lecordier said people need to stop being disinterested and break out of the “silo mentality” to create partnerships that have a meaningful impact on people’s lives.

Looking at the bigger picture, she added, some of the spin-offs from the project would include job creation and skills development.

The wealth division manager of FNB in KwaZulu-Natal, Grant Visser, said the bank has lined up a team of fiduciary specialists to help out the project team set up an appropriate charitable structure.

He said the public sector team is advising how to maximise the positive interaction with the government departments that are involved.

“This is in line with government’s effort to improve the state of education in our country,” said Visser.

Frank Bloem of FB Consulting welcomed the project, saying he thinks it is a brilliant project and in line with the school’s motto, which is “Aim High — Mik Hoog”.

“I was also a student at the school and I hope that more businesspeople will come on board to support the project,” he said.

Greg Kambaran of Asakhesonke said, “Being in the construction business and coming from Woodlands, I definitely would assist in the reconstruction of the school. I would also spread the word to people like building suppliers.”

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