BCC plans to adopt multi storey school designs

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) plans to adopt a multi storey model in the building and expansion of schools as part of measures to address the ever increasing enrolment.

Speaking during a stakeholders virtual consultative meeting to review the local authority’s Southern Central Areas Local Development Plan (LDP) number 16 Thursday, town planner Shelton Sithole said there was a need to address overcrowding at schools.

LDP 16, which is part of the broader Bulawayo development master plan incorporates Hill Crest, Green Hill, Southwold, Barham Green, Bradfield, Famona, Montrose, a portion of Qalisa and Morningside suburbs.

“To cater for increased enrolment and overcrowding in the study area it is proposed that schools adopt vertical expansion of the existing infrastructure,” said Sithole.

“It is proposed that all the eight (8) primary schools and six (6) secondary schools and the only tertiary facility (Hillside Teachers College) be retained and zoned institutional for educational purposes.”

All designs, Sithole said, would be child, disability and gender sensitive to provide safe and inclusive learning environments.

“However the maximum building height should not exceed three floors,” he explained, adding that to cater for classroom shortfalls schools should utilise vast amounts of land at their discretion to have infrastructure that absorbs the demand.

“The two sites in Montrose, one being a primary and the other a secondary should be zoned institutional for educational purposes,” he said, adding the government should prioritize them in terms of human and financial resources.

Meanwhile, in light of Hillside Police Station being the only one servicing the vast area, the local authority has proposed setting aside a portion of land for another police station.

“It is proposed that a portion of the vacant land along Sulgrave Avenue bounded by Bralles Road and Welford Road be zoned institutional to accommodate a police post to serve Southwold, Montrose, Barham Green, Green Hill and Hillcrest,” said Sithole.

“Given the high prevalence of theft and burglary in the study area it is proposed that there be intensified police presence. Foot, cycle and vehicle patrols should be encouraged/intensified as it has been proven that when the level of police presence increases crime goes down significantly. As we search for a long term solution, contemporary it is proposed that police services be accommodated in public buildings like Hospitals and Hillside Teachers college.”

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