The past year has been extremely challenging owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the NWU is guarding against becoming victim to the truism that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
Looking to the future, the university has moved ahead with its ambitious construction programme. A number of high-rise buildings have gone up on all three of its campuses at Mahikeng, Potchefstroom and Vanderbijlpark.
rising up everywhere amid Covid-19
Enhancing our sports facilities
Building projects on the Potchefstroom Campus are projected to cost R324,7 million.
One of the projects is the newly renovated and restructured Building K2, which will house the High Performance Institute and other research and educational units such as the Centre for Health and Human Performance and the Institute for Biokinetics.
Click here to read more about this exciting project that will make the NWU stand out even more as one of the country’s most sought-after sports destinations.
The bigger picture
In all, 92 projects are at the investigation, planning, procurement and construction stages on all three campuses; the total cost is estimated at R1,515 billion.
There are also a number of minor refurbishing projects aimed at ensuring a conducive working environment and enabling redress and equitable allocation of resources in line with the NWU’s commitment. These include installation of emergency power and air conditioning, among other things.
Through its Integrated Workplace Management System, a three-part project, the NWU is also stepping up efforts to improve efficiencies, contain costs, integrate multiple systems and ensure better utilisation of its facilities throughout their life cycle.
Housing project is the biggest ever
Chief among these long-term capital projects is the 1 728-bed Mahikeng student housing project for which a site handover and briefing session for successful contractors took place late last year.
“It’s the biggest project in the history of the university, so we will make sure that we stick to the programme and hand over the project on time,” says NWU contracts manager and principal agent, Retha Kooij-Kok.
Besides this project, the new building for Protection Services on the same campus is due to be completed and handed over in the second quarter. In addition, construction of the new Psychosocial Health building, an addition to the Nursing School, is well under way.
The VIP spectator section at the sports grounds on the Mahikeng Campus was renovated.
Excitement is building
Meanwhile, excitement is building as the new Vanderbijlpark Campus Administration building nears completion. This is scheduled for May and employees are expected to be able to move in soon afterwards.
The building will house staff offices, including the deputy vice-chancellor's office, Corporate Relations and Marketing, Finance, Student Academic Life Cycle Administration and Human Resources.
It will also feature event space and a 50-seat conference room that allows for meetings. Its many architectural highlights will include two towers facing towards the entrance, fire stairs and a beautiful lobby with artwork to welcome students, guests and staff.
Prof Linda Du Plessis, deputy vice-chancellor for planning and Vanderbijlpark Campus operations, recently toured the construction site and says she is pleased with the progress.
“The Covid-19 pandemic and the unusual cycle of rain have understandably impacted the original timeline for the delivery of the building but constructors have done an excellent job adjusting to the challenging working conditions posed by the pandemic,” she says.
Principal and design architect of Mathews and Associates, Pieter Mathews, says they have been working hard to make up for lost time and to minimise the impact of the shutdown delays.
“Overall, the project is about 60% complete and we are pleased with the progress. Construction of interior walls and utilities on both floors is well under way. The building is very safe and modern with a top-class contemporary architectural style,” he says. Visible from the road, the building will portray a cutting-edge image for the university.