Red East Construction (Pty) Ltd handed over the new student hostels and warden houses to the Botswana International University of Science & Technology (BIUST) on the 8th March 2018. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Totolo received the 594-bed hostel facility and two warden houses from the Managing Director of Red East Construction (Pty) Ltd, Mr Dellan Lui. The Sponsor, being Government is applauded for her commitment to support infrastructural developments at BIUST to the tune of BWP97.0 Million. The project started on 08/02/2017 and it was completed on 08/02/2018.
The event was graced by the Deputy District Commissioner of Palapye, Ms. Gaehetswe Maphakwane, the two (2) BIUST Deputy Vice Chancellors, the Distinguished Prof. Dennis Siginer, for Academic Affairs and Mr Dawid Katzke, for Finance and Administration. Directors and supervisors from Red East Construction (Pty) Ltd and the BIUST community, including the Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Physical Planning and Campus Facilities (PPCF), who are core users. Project Consultants from stakeholder parties invited included Techtura International (Pty) Ltd, DNK & Associates, North Atlantic Engineering Consultants, and Fitzwilliam’s Partnerships.
In his keynote address, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Otlogetswe Totolo heartily appreciated Red East Construction (Pty) Ltd and BIUST that ‘we have come a long way in delivering quality infrastructural projects of values with good workmanship.’ He further noted that BIUST values the realization that the project was started and completed on time, and within budget. Totolo noted that consistent with the BIUST Master Plan, the design of the hostels has incorporated green technologies among them; solar energy panels and rainwater harvester to use for irrigation purposes.
“The facilities that are being presented to us, at BIUST today include hostels capable of housing 594 students, two wardens’ houses and landscaping. With this infrastructural development, BIUST is truly becoming a residence University. We are proud of this achievement and expect to see more development being constructed within the precincts of BIUST in the next financial year.” BIUST is committed to housing all its students within campus as this guarantees our students better access to our University amenities including library, internet and group discussions, and safe social gatherings,” he said. Totolo noted that because BIUST is a growing University with a targeted growth of 6,000 students by 2023, the need for student’s campus accommodation will continue to be felt. The rise in the demand for such services will impact on other learning facilities for purposes of study, entertainment, leisure and relaxation.
BIUST currently has an enrolment of about 2,000 students. BIUST hostels have 1156 bed space, this comprises of 256 bed space provided in brick and mortar hostels and 900 beds in prefabricated structures. BIUST had used other available bed spaces in Serowe (Old Sekgoma Hospital and the Institute of Health Sciences (IHS) and the Palapye (Fenguye glass project) hostels where about 400 students were accommodated and now fully housed on campus.
Project Consultants were engaged to conceptualise the sustainable designs. The Physical Planning and Campus Facilities (PPFC) facilitated the engagements with key players including the key user. In delight, Prof. Totolo heartily commended the Red East (Pty Ltd) project team that ‘BIUST is increasingly becoming a model of excellence as it delivers projects that are properly scoped, supervised and complete within time and budget, a rare feat in infrastructure related projects. He encouraged Mr. Lui and team to continue to deliver such services wherever contracted.
Mr. Mafa, the Project Engineer from Techtura International (Pty) Ltd, indicated that ‘It is rare to have a project completed before the delivery time at zero cost overruns, despite the rock impediments found on the hilltops of the Tswapong on campus.’ That did not delay the project but gave consultants the necessary challenge and experience to maximise their expected output.
The BIUST student community was encouraged to embrace the project very well and take care of the facilities to boost academic excellence. The Resident Engineers and staff engaged in the project were commended by Prof. Totolo for the hard work and commitment which delivered the 594 beds for students, fitted with bedding and study-friendly resources. Learning has never been made so easy for students in an international tertiary institution based in Palapye.