The New Sports Hall

Since the announcement in the previous year that our school was going to build a new sports hall, I was curious about the final details concerning the new building. Questions like ‘Why was a new sports hall being built and when would it be finished?’ went through my head. Finally, in the second term of school, I got my head around to interviewing our school’s principal, Mr Kirmse and asking him all the questions that were bugging me and which I felt all the learners at the DSK should know. Here you have it, the article with, I think, the most important details you have to know about our new sports hall.

Let us start at the beginning:

Why did the school decide to build the sports hall at all in the first place? The “Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen” (which is the government sector in Germany, responsible for German schools overseas), conducts regular check-ups according to the “Musterraumordnung”, which makes sure that the space requirements of the school are sufficient. Now in 2008 the “Musterraumordung” discovered that having one sports hall was insufficient. The fact that ever since more and more learners have joined the DSK also contributed to the necessity of building a second sports hall. After the permission from Germany to start planning and then constructing the building in the month of July 2017, the school had an extraordinary General Assembly of the School Association and it was agreed that the sports hall should be built.

When will the building be finished and is the construction on schedule?

According to the construction plan, construction should be completed towards the end of November 2018. For the time being, construction is on schedule as confirmed by Mr. Kirmse. He also stated that the gap in construction between late January to mid May was planned into the construction plan, seeing as it was unclear how long it would take to remove the earth for the foundation of the building. The ground was expected to be quite rocky and at some point it was even put into consideration to blast away the rock, but luckily the ground was soft enough to avoid these measures. In the future the amount of rainfall will of course determine how quickly the construction continues.

Where did the money come from? 

The building of the sports hall will cost the school roughly R40 000 000! My question to Mr. Kirmse was, “Where does this money come from?” Mr Kirmse explained to me that a large part of the sum is being funded by organisations in Germany, in fact close to 80%. The rest of the money comes from the school. Of course, you must remember that the exact price is not yet predictable, seeing as some of the contracts are still being made.

Who designed the building? Which company is constructing the hall?

MLH architects and planners is the company that designed the building. It is in fact the same architectural practice that designed the new building that was built in 2003, which contains the library, new classrooms and the multi-purpose room.

The construction of the sports hall is split up between different construction companies, who are in charge of the various stages of construction. The company who is currently setting the foundations is called Lovemore & Company.

What will the sports hall be like?

Hopefully everyone reading this article knows what the sports hall will look like from the outside, seeing as there are pictures of it at the construction site which you pass when you come to school, but what will the inside look like inside? The hall will be given a multi-purpose floor, allowing students to play volley ball, soccer, basketball, tennis, badminton and handball. Holes will be set into the floor so as to secure sport equipment such as a tennis net, for example, and there will be seating for spectators.  All in all, the hall will be fitted out with all the sports equipment needed for sports lessons. The hall will be able to be split into three sectors by hall dividers.

What does this new building mean for the DSK?

Mr. Kirmse sees our school as very privileged to have gotten the support from Germany to build such a large building, seeing as the DSK could not have managed this project alone. He says that in that regard we have to be very thankful towards Germany. He also sees tremendous opportunity in the sports hall to further develop sport at the DSK. The sport department and many parents are working on how one can improve sports at our school, together with the new facilities. Furthermore, the sports hall will provide new possibilities in sports events with other schools, such as hand ball tournaments. The building will be a new source for interaction with other schools as well as improve our sport at the DSK in areas such as team spirit, which will be encouraged by the spectator seats. Lastly, the school will also have a lot of space for sporting activities when the weather conditions do not allow the students to play sports outside.

What will happen to the rondell?

By now you should have noticed that the rondell has been taken down and that the metal spiral made to celebrate all the years that this school has existed is temporarily deposited on the teachers’ parking lot in the construction area. The whole forecourt of the school will be redesigned and the spiral will be incorporated, however it will be done  in such a way that the traffic flow is better than it was in the past. Apparently many people in the past have reversed into the rondel. 

What to do if you have more questions?

If you are interested in the finer details of the construction or anything concerning the sports hall, you can inquire via the school administration or the parents’ council. In general, the school will be informed about the progress in construction in the AGM on the 16th of May.

I want to thank Mr. Kirmse especially for his willingness to  answer my questions.

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