Magaliesburg Secondary School in Limpopo, South Africa

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The Magaliesburg Secondary school is a farm school with about 600 learners situated in the small Magalieburg township of Ga-Mohale. They specialize in maths, science, and agriculture.

The R58 million state-of-the-art school has 30 classrooms, two science laboratories, a multi-purpose computer center, and a sporting facility. The project created more than 200 jobs for local people through the expanded public works program.

Construction of the Magaliesburg secondary school was completed in early 2014.

Also Read: New D-School at UCT in South Africa to have a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system

Reported in March 2013

The Magaliesburg (secondary school) Boarding Facility

south-africathe-magaliesburg-boarding-facilityBoarding for rural learners
The Magaliesburg Boarding Facility promises to alleviate some of the problems around bringing education to learners in sparsely populated areas. Currently, underway is the Magaliesburg Boarding Facility, a sustainable, secure, residential facility for 240 learners and caregiver staff from surrounding schools in the Ga-Mogale township.

The focus of this development according to architect Monique Lott of Alchemy architects, was to provide the strong sparsely rural and farming population of Magaliesburg with a modern type, scholars boarding facility, catering for affordable access to safe accommodation, school transport, nutritional needs, and healthy emotional development and to support the effective education of its needy boarders.
The State-owned land earmarked for the development is situated on the northern boundary of the Ga-Mogale settlement.

Funding done right

The Department of infrastructure development allocated an overall amount of R100 million for the construction of the new Magaliesburg boarding facility with 40 percent of labor being allocated to local workers and subcontractors.

A major problem in infrastructure builds in South Africa is however in making sure that the allocated money is funneled in the right direction as misappropriation of school budgets has been a hot topic in the media of late, Mahlatsi Thumelo Cost Consultants was brought in to manage the facility’s funds. The first order of business, according to Albert Mawasha of Mahlatsi, was to ensure that the allocated funds for the projects covered the required scope of work without compromising on quality.

“This meant working closely with the design team presenting various value engineering scenarios to the client,” Mawasha says. The scope of works included the construction of a new chapel, a guard house, six three-story residential blocks, three study halls, a dining hall, an administration block, and a sports field.

“We had to produce estimates and bills of quantities within a very short period of time. We had to shrink a process that would usually take several months to fit within a few weeks, with commitment and dedication from all the professional team members and our staff working around the clock we were able to complete the work within a very short time span.” Mahlatsi adds.

The project was finally approved to go out on tender on November 2011 and Mawasha was able to complete adjudication reports within an additional two days.

Moreteng investment was appointed as the main contractor for the project with a tender amount of R90 Million(US  10.8 million).  Having arrived on site in March of this year, the company expects to complete the project by August 2013.

Examples followed

Lott states that the brief for this project was to design a “Residential Village” with attractive, functional, and stimulating accommodation for needy rural learners, creating a sense of community and responsibility. The example to be followed in this instance was the Oprah Winfrey School for Girls in Meyerton, which is setting the standard for community projects in South Africa.

“The facility needs to provide the residents with a safe, healthy, homely, and comfortable living environment which encourages them to concentrate on their education and promote further education, by providing facilities for varied, appealing extracurricular activities and social and emotional support, which contributes to a stable living condition for the pupils,” Lott adds.

This facility would however accommodate both male and female learners from primary to high school system. Grade 1 to 12 borders would need to be accommodated 7 days a week and often during school holidays, with regulated pass-outs for visits home. These learners would come from 17 existing Schools in the surrounding areas.

Learners will remain at their current schools and be transported to and fro on a daily basis. The facility will primarily be for vulnerable children and those that travel and walk the furthest distances to and from school each day.

Greening the facility

As with many new community projects, integrating green building practices in energy efficiency and environmental sustainability is also featured in the brief. “The design also needed to take into account sustainable means of operation and contraction, from a choice of materials, rainwater harvesting, solar panel farming grey water recycling, and the like,” Lott says.

One of the main reasons for this is the reduction in the running costs of the buildings and increasing the sustainability of it. As such, the development will first be backed up with full generator systems in case of a power outage. Electrical supplies to the facility will also be supplemented by solar panel farming.

Water supplies were next on the list. The facility’s needs will be supplemented by rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling systems. Solar-powered water heating, gas kitchen equipment, a sustainable vegetable garden, and grazing land as well as maintenance-free finishes, such as face brick and natural landscaping are also planned for this facility in order to bring the day-to-day cost of the facility down.

Project team

Architect                    Alchemy Architects

Contractor                 Moreteng investment

Developer                  The Department of Infrastructure Development

Costing Services        Mahlatsi Thumelo Cost Consultants