Cape Times

School library rebuilt after fire

Liyabona Library of the Holy Cross Convent Primary School overcomes the odds


THE road to the reopening of the Liyabona Library of the Holy Cross Convent Primary School in District 6 has not been easy.

A fire broke out at the school last February and destroyed what had then been the school’s nearly completed brand new library.

The rebuilding of the library was made possible by partnershi­ps with caring individual­s and organisati­ons in the community. It has since, one again, opened its doors.

Nonikiwe Mashologu, literacy director of the library’s sponsors Otto Foundation, said: “This library building process was started early in 2019 and the project was almost done. We were finished with the renovation­s and waiting for the books to arrive when the fire started.”

She added that the fire destroyed the entire building housing the near-completed library, named after Holy Cross Convent Primary School pupil Liyabona Mbaba, who was killed after a taxi he travelled in collided with a N2 freeway wall near Borcherds Quarry in May 2018.

Besides the unfinished library, the fire also destroyed three classrooms, the computer laboratory, the feeding schemes’ kitchen and stationery of a Grade R class.

Mentioning another catastroph­e that befell the library after refurbishi­ng had been completed late last year, Mashologu said: “After the schools had closed in December 2019, there was a pipe-burst that caused flooding in the library, which damaged quite a bit of the new furniture and brand new books.

“The books that were damaged were estimated to have cost R15 000.”

Seated inside the soon-to-belaunched completed library with its colourful, giant murals, impressive new tables and chairs, shelving, flooring and a stage, which pupils and teachers had been using for over two months, teacher Carlene Leukes said: “It was just a dark dungeon which we used for school assemblies for our pupils. Now it is a lively, colourful, multipurpo­se space for our children.”

Holy Cross Convent Primary School principal Nomthandaz­o Nzweni said the cost of refurbishi­ng the new library had amounted to about R250 000.

“There was a pipe burst that caused flooding in the library Nonikiwe Mashologu Literacy director, Otto Foundation

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