Revitalisation of the historic core of Valkenberg Hospital is complete
A R57 million project at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital has been completed by the Department of Transport and Public Works for the provincial Department of Health. This was the second phase of a R150 million refurbishment of the historical buildings at the hospital, and follows the completion of Phase 1 in mid-2016.
Phase 2 commenced in February 2016 and involved upgrades to, and provision of, new accommodation for support services at the hospital. These services include administration, records, archives, bulk stores, laundry, cleaning services and the staff clinic. The project also included extensive refurbishment of the existing hall and adjacent boardroom.
The restoration of heritage buildings constructed in the early 1900s presented many challenges. Investigations were required to establish the condition of structural timbers and extensive remedial work was carried out to address beetle infestation and damp rot in the roof structures and floors. The impact of the ongoing drought on the landscaping was another challenge. New trees and water-wise plants have been planted to provide shade for parking and complete the historic precinct and its surrounds.
The buildings are naturally ventilated using the historic Boyle ventilator system, which was fully restored and put back into operation. Other historical mechanical equipment, including an old coal-fired Cochran boiler, Weir pumps and an autoclave have been retained as significant historical artefacts.
The Department of Transport and Public Works is committed to providing short-term work opportunities and to developing emerging contractors. Over R9 million was spent on targeted contractor businesses and R2,9 million on local labour. In addition, a total of 30 people received on-site training in painting, carpentry and joinery.