The historic Durbar High School, which was destroyed in the 2015 earthquakes, is likely to be rebuilt with assistance from the Chinese government.
The historic structure houses two schools — Bhanu Secondary School and Sanskrit Secondary School. Around 180 students of Bhanu Secondary School and 150 students of Sanskrit Secondary School are studying at temporary learning centres on the school’s premises after the school buildings were damaged in the 2015 earthquakes.
There are three buildings on the premises of Durbar High School. These buildings have heights ranging from 48 feet to 55 feet. So the new structure will not exceed the original height of 55 feet and retain the neo-classical façade.
Divisional engineer at DoA Sampad Ghimire said unlike other heritage buildings, the school buildings should be reconstructed using modern construction material to ensure safety of students.
Principal of Bhanu Secondary School Hem Chandra Mahato said they wanted the school to be rebuilt stronger and larger so as to be able to accommodate as many students as possible. “We want
the new building to be IT-friendly with advanced laboratories,
libraries, fire escapes and other kinds of facilities.”
The blueprint for the reconstruction of the school building is prepared by the Government of China, which is also undertaking the responsibility of rebuilding the school. The blueprint, however, has not been approved due to opposition from Society of Nepalese Architects.
The proposed four-storey building will have the capacity to accommodate around 1,000 students, said Mahato.
KMC has to call a technical jury meeting to take a decision on reconstruction of the school buildings. The school sprawls in an area of nine ropani (around 49,284 square metres).
President of SONA Suman Nandan Baidhya said, “The new structures should not exceed the original height and retain neo-classical design.” SONA had issued a letter to the KMC on February 11 requesting it to hold a public hearing before approving the blueprint.
The historic school was originally built in 1851 to provide education to the children of erstwhile rulers. It was later opened to the public in 1902.
A version of this article appears in print on March 01, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.