The current status at Woodridge is as follows:
- Electricity and water services and the sewerage works are in the process of being restored. We have contingency plans in place for power if electricity isn’t fully restored to certain areas of campus.
- A tremendous effort has been put into the clearing of bush and trees that posed a fire risk to the remaining buildings. We are confident that the fire risk has been reduced significantly through this process and we would like to thank all the volunteers (local community and OW’s) and contractors who assisted in this process.
- We have consulted with specialists regarding the demolition of damaged buildings and the process of demolishing and removal of rubble will start this week.
- A temporary admin office has been set up at the BCX offices in PE and is fully operational. We managed to retrieve our main server and a number of computers and it would seem that these are all intact.
- Plans are being made for the resumption of school and this includes the sourcing of prefab classrooms, a mobile kitchen and kitchen equipment. Desks and chairs and tables have also been ordered. Fortunately most of the hostels are intact. We have made arrangements to house the prep girls on campus and the six college boys who have been displace, will be accommodated on campus as well.
- As mentioned before the most damage has been suffered by our teachers and ground staff and their families. 39 people in total have been displaced. All of these are currently accommodated in PE, Jeffreys Bay or St Francis, but we have identified 8 key teachers who need to resident on campus as soon as possible. Park homes are being sourced for this purpose.
Peter May, one of our trustees and an OW, is a qualified QS and has been appointed as the Project Manager of the demolition and re-building processes. The trustees and school management are working closely with Peter in getting us back on track.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has come forward to help, either physically in fighting fires etc. or in offering services and assistance in order to rebuild the school. The financial assistance is also greatly appreciated. The show of support from parents, pupils, OW’s, the local community and broader community around South Africa, including other schools has truly been unbelievable. We are truly humbled. This gives us comfort and confidence that we can rebuild Woodridge.
Chairman of Woodridge Trust