* This article was first published on 22 November 2019 and has been updated in August 2020.
The renowned Chris Hani Building (formerly New Science Lecture Theatre) was initially built in 1948. It will be repurposed to provide students with a new contemporary learning space. The repurposed building will include a variety of learning spaces, including a student concession area with an outdoor courtyard and a formal upgraded lecture venue. The adaptation of the building will take into cognisance and retain the critical heritage items.
The University facilities and buildings are dated, and no alterations and improvements have taken place to keep pace with the increase in the number of students over the years. The upgrade will allow for better integration within the University precinct and an improved and aesthetically pleasing environment, creating a more conducive learning environment.
The project is set to commence in December 2019, and completion scheduled for April 2021. The aim is to take advantage of the vacation period to set up the project and begin with critical works. Construction areas will be demarcated at all times to ensure the safety of all students, staff, and visitors. Campus operations are essential to the delivery of the academic programme. Students and staff will be informed timeously before any disruptive work or alterations to schedules and lecture theatre bookings. The project team will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimal.
The current concession space is the only viable location for the contractor's site establishment. Super Sandwich and Rainbow Take-Aways will move out of that space. The new place for these food stalls will be confirmed closer to the time.
The ATMs found along the staircase between Chris Hani and John Day buildings will be out of operation and boarded-off for the duration of construction
Parking Bays Relocation
All parking bays along site hoarding on the Avenue North Road will not be available for use by any persons other than the builder’s personnel or site use, any vehicle parked on these bays will be at owners’ risk.
The thoroughfare between Chris Hani and John Day buildings leading from Avenue North road to Chemistry Mall and vice versa will be closed-off allowing adequate space for site operations for the duration of the project.
Disruptions to University
All departments will be consulted and provided with prior notice when disruptive work is due to occur. Student's examination schedules will be integrated into the project programme to ensure minimal disruptions during test weeks and examinations.
Your cooperation during this upgrade is much appreciated.
Update: August 2020
After several months of unforeseen delays, the Chris Hani redevelopment project has kicked off, with the site hand over to the construction company taking place on Monday, 6 July. The project completion is earmarked for the end of October 2021. Demolition work has already begun and the next three to four months will consist mostly of drilling and soft construction.
Construction will be taking place under the challenging conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the contractor will ensure that all measures for the safety of everyone on site are in place. The basic requirements of social distancing, wearing of masks and hand hygiene will be strictly observed.
For the physical safety of all staff, students, and visitors to campus, all construction operations, and activities will be carried out within the hoarded area to limit the risk of injury. Students, staff, and occupants of surrounding buildings who will be negatively impacted by construction site operations will be timeously informed of any additional disruptive work. Notwithstanding the necessary communication protocols already in place, the contractor will endeavour to keep disruptions to a minimum.
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