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This school’s quest for a makeover continues

One year since the deadline, the renovation work of Government Central High School at Attakulangara is still pending.

Published: 18th July 2018 05:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2018 05:40 AM   |  A+A-

Renovation work in progress at Government Central High School at Attakulangara Vincent Pulickal

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:While the smart classroom wave takes over schools in the city,  the Government Central High School at Attakulangara is left out of the picture. The school, which has a heritage value, cuts a sorry figure,  and the plans to renovate it has been delayed inordinately due to legal complications.  

Last year, Education Minister C Raveendranath promised that the renovation of the 129-year-old school would be completed before the beginning of academic year in 2017. However, it failed to do so.  A total of three buildings were planned to be renovated, of which two have been completed. The remaining work had to be stopped last year following a complaint that the architect was not concerned about conserving the heritage aspect of the building. Eventually, it kicked up a controversy about the historical value of the building. The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) had also prepared a report citing that the renovation was carried out not as per the conservation norms.

Pillars being erected for the renovation work

K Rajendran, the headmaster of the school, said the construction works are progressing, but very slowly for the past several months.“I have taken charge only a month ago. Though I am not aware of the reason for the delay, I could not see a positive development here. There are some working going on. Similarly, our long-standing need to upgrade the school to higher secondary status still remains on paper,” Rajendran said.  

The school is among the select institutions in the state, which are included in the Save General Education campaign of the state government.Last year, the government had also rejected a proposal mooted by Trivandrum Development Authority (TRIDA) to construct a bus station-cum-shopping complex at East Fort by acquiring 2.2 acres of land from the school.

Renovation by Dec

As per the sources with the Education Department, the works which were to be completed last year could be resumed only a month ago due to legal issues. The works are expected to completed by December this year.  “All the legal issues are over. The works have begun and it will be completed at the earliest,” said a top officer of the Education Department.

Earlier, the court order staying the renovation had stalled the works and it took eight months for the renovation to resume. It is being carried out by Habitat Technology Group under the supervision of well-known architect G Shankar.

According to Shankar, the carpentry works for the roofing was progressing and the flooring would be completed in a week. He told Express that the whole works could be completed by December.“The heavy rain has affected the progress of works by and large. The roofing is the major work remaining. So, we are waiting for the rain to stop. The work to strengthen the wall is progressing. We are making every efforts to complete the renovations works by the end of this year”, an officer of the Habitat Technology Group said.

Besides the main building, a stage and a changing room will also be constructed. A state-of-the-art gateway is also planned though it is not included in the proposal. The other works include the landscaping of the school premises without losing its heritage essence. The original duration of the project was one year. The total cost of the project is Rs 1.67 crore. As per the proposal, the natural ambience of the school would be retained and the renovation would not require demolition of buildings and cutting of trees.



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