The process of rebuilding will start this week to deliver a better Huis ten Bosch in 2020.
This was the confidence expressed by Stellenbosch University Chief Operating Officer Prof Stan du Plessis at last week's staff assembly held on 27 August 2019. “The contractors have been appointed and we would like to proceed as rapidly as possible, though consistent with quality. Huis ten Bosch must be an improved facility when we are done. We will try to open parts of the residence progressively next year as the project nears completion. While a lot remains to be done, I have full confidence that we will deliver a better Huis ten Bosch in 2020," said Prof du Plessis.
It's been three weeks since the devastating fire ripped through SU's Huis ten Bosch women's residence. The roof above eight rooms on the third floor of the residence was destroyed due to a fire that broke out around 19:00 on Monday evening (12 August 2019).
Since the cataclysmic fire, SU management, staff, students and community members have shown immense support towards all 164 residents of Huis ten Bosch, who has since been provided with alternative accommodation.
During the staff assembly Du Plessis commended the continued support given to the students affected by the fire.
“I want to thank all those friends and family of the Huis ten Bosch students as well as members of the community who accommodated these students during those first few days. We have also received generous donations to assist students who lost their personal belongings."
The university has also provided the necessary counselling and support services for the affected students through the 24-hour crisis service of the University's Centre for Student Counselling and Development.
An assessor visited Huis ten Bosch to evaluate the damage and has since initiated the process for repairing the residence.
According to Prof du Plessis, the University has implemented a contingency committee of relevant staff and other stakeholders, including student leaders as well as SU's insurers, to deal with the fire and its aftermath. The committee met for the first time shortly after the fire was brought under control and has met four times since. A final meeting was held late last week, after which the remaining agenda will be handled in the various responsibility centres of the University.
Residents will not be able to return to their rooms for the rest of this year, and alternative accommodation has been provided for them. In the past three weeks, the University has also assisted students with, amongst other things, meals on campus, transport and access to laptops for those who lost theirs.
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