The Boorhaanol creche in the Bo-Kaap has moved into a heritage building which at one point had been declared a problem building by the City of Cape Town.
In February the creche was in the final stages of securing the move to the newly revamped 81 Dorp Street (“A new home”, Atlantic Sun, February 5). The building had been bought by the Boorhaanol Trust in 2015 after which construction began. They moved in on July 18 this year.
The building itself is a heritage site but became a problem after having stood vacant for many years, home to vagrants at one point, and at another, damaged by fire.
Now it has been given a new lease of life and a safe place for the children who attend the creche. Part of the agreement of the reconstruction was to keep the heritage features of the building, built in the 1800s, intact.
“The main problem with the building was that it had been used by homeless vagrants. That was one of the big concerns of the immediate neighbours. The advantage of us being here is that it is now being used and there is a lot of traffic in the area,” said the school’s principal, Nuha Dramat.
“The overall security of the area has improved.”
She said they are also planning to partner with the Bo-Kaap Neighbourhood Watch.
Part of the construction of the new creche involved fixing the inside of it which was burnt. “We couldn’t take away the outside walls because of the heritage significance of the building. We had to reinforce the old walls.”
Ms Dramat added that the school was still looking to add more security features.
“We’ve been using the new building as a meeting place and there have already been several conferences and workshops at the place. The school is now split over two centres but it is all a work in progress.”
The long-term goal, said Ms Dramat, was to expand the school to have another two classes.
“We are going to stick to having three classes here and two there but in the new year we would like to move those classes so that this becomes the dedicated school. The transition has been smooth and I think the parents are feeling secure about the place,” added Ms Dramat.
“The major disadvantage of the last location was that it was a shared facility. Now the new building is more in compliance with early childhood development requirements.”