School li­brary re­built af­ter fire

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

Cape Times - - PAGE 2 - RAPHAEL WOLF raphael.wolf@inl.co.za

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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