New Happy Valley Primary School Nears Completion
The R45 million Happy Valley Primary School in Blue Downs, being built by the Department of Transport and Public Works, is scheduled for completion at the end of July 2015. The new school will be able to accommodate up to 1 120 learners and is expected to open its doors in the 2016 academic year.
This is wonderful news for residents and children of the Happy Valley informal settlement, as most learners are currently attending the Blue Downs Primary School.
The Department started construction in January 2013 when land adjacent to the Silversands High School became available.
The single storey buildings boast warm, calming exteriors and low maintenance face brick finishes on the external walls. Buildings provide easy access for learners, including those with disabilities. There are dedicated open and secure courtyards for each school phase – junior, intermediate and senior – each with a specific colour.
The edges of the courtyards provide good protection during inclement weather.
Teaching facilities comprise four Grade R classrooms, as well as 10 foundation phase, 10 intermediate phase and eight senior phase classrooms. There is also a media centre. The complex has a multi-purpose hall with toilet facilities, an administrative building, a kitchen, a garden store and caretaker’s facilities. Care has been taken to ensure that all classrooms have natural light and that they are adequately ventilated.
There is on-site parking for staff, and a drop-off/ pick-up zone for Grade R learners.
The site will be landscaped with a combination of grass and perennial flowering plants, including planters in the courtyard. Trees have been planted in and around the school for shade, while a borehole has been installed to irrigate the plants and grass. The Grade R play area has a combination of soft and hard landscaping as well as play equipment such as sandpits, a jungle gym and swings.
A total of R5 million was spent on local labour, R1.2 million went to small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs), and R629 000 was spent on enterprises led and staffed by women.
During construction, 25 people received technical skills training on site, and nine received life skills training.