St Joseph’s Anglo Indian Girls Higher Secondary School in Malabar, built in 1862, is one of the few century-old buildings still surviving in Kozhikode. But this sense of pride of the locals may soon be dashed to the ground as the 156 years old school building is heading for demolition. According to the people in charge of the school administration, demolition has become necessary due to space constraints. Authorities are planning to build a steel, glass and concrete structure in place of the old building where they intend to provide smart classrooms.
However, administration’s decision is strongly opposed by school’s alumni and locals. According to them, it is one of old buildings still surviving in the city and they want to protect it at any cost. “Those interested in the demolishing of the building may be of the opinion that it affects the modern outlook of the management or that it is a threat to the safety. Both concerns can be addressed with the right people involved. There is a large Architects Guild active in Calicut that specialises in the restoration and strengthening of historical and heritage buildings. We must be prepared to give them a chance to present their expert opinion and help in this matter. The professors of NIT Architecture Department has made known their availability and great interest in studying the building and presenting their proposal for the same. While it does need work; respected architects who have assessed it generally opine it to to be structurally sound, saying it could be refurbished for less than it would cost to demolish and rebuild,” says Aysha Mahmood in her online petition. Aysha Mahmood is the alumnus of the school.
Those who are opposed to the demolition of the building want the best structural engineers from NIT, to ascertain the safety of the building. According to them, building can be used through proper restoration. They want to protect this colonial building which was built before concrete made its foray and is totally made with bricks and masonry which is a rarity nowadays.