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CPUT EMBARKS ON SEVERAL BUILDING PROJECTS THAT WILL BENEFIT STUDENTS AND RESEARCHERS
CPUT has embarked on several building projects which will provide students with access to state-of-the-art facilities and add huge value to the university’s physical assets.
The roll-out of these projects signal the institution’s commitment to ensure that CPUT remains at the heart of technology education and innovation in Africa. CPUT is the largest higher education institution in the Western Cape, boasting with more than 180 buildings. At present, the institution is investing in five new building projects, which will benefit the administration, the Faculty of Engineering, the Faculty of Applied Science and the student residences. All of these projects are to reach completion during 2010.
CPUT Architect Adriana Hornea, who is working with the professional teams on the various projects, said many of these are capital expenditure projects, funded by the Department of Education, whereas others are funded out of CPUT coffers. Hornea said all the projects, which are being managed by external consultants, are on schedule.
The Mechanical Engineering Building at the Bellville Campus was completed at the end of June, and will be handed over for academic use shortly. Measuring 5 000 m² and with a budget of R 62.8 million, the existing building extended as per new requirements can now accommodate 1 800 students and 70 staff members.
The two-story building consists of several hi-tech laboratories, workshops, lecture theatres, classrooms and staff facilities. Existing laboratories were extended and space has been created for study areas for students. Hornea said that construction work on the Administration Building at the Bellville campus, which is being extended to accommodate a Senate Hall, Council Chamber, undercover parking, conference rooms and offices, is also well underway.
The extension, which comes at a cost of R37 million, is scheduled for completion in December 2010. One of the most impressive developments at the Bellville Campus is the new Food Technology Facility, which on completion will be the only education and training facility of this kind in South Africa.
Housing the Food Technology Department and Agrifood Technology Station, the new complex comes at a price tag of R40.6 million. The facility will consist of a Research and Development Laboratory, a Functional Food Research Unit, an Instrument Laboratory, a Food Chemistry Laboratory, a Microbiology Laboratory, additional staff offices and a state of the art 1 500sqm multi-functional Pilot Plant.
The facility will ensure that CPUT remains at the cutting edge of the industry and develops world class food technologists. Hornea said a section of the building has already been completed, with staff and students taking occupation of the Pilot Plant and some of the offices in August. The remainder of the building is scheduled for completion by November 2010.
With an enrollment of more than 31 000 students, CPUT is also addressing the housing needs of students, with the construction of a 200 bed residence at the Bellville Campus and a 577 bed residential complex adjacent to the Cape Town Campus, which is developed by a private developer on CPUT owned land. Meanwhile at the picturesque Wellington Campus, a state of the art experimental wine-cellar, located on the institutions’ sport fields site is nearing completion.
The 400 m² wine-cellar, designed by Hornea, will ensure students enrolled in the National Diploma in Agriculture – Viticulture and Oenology, have access to facilities on par with those in industry.