Stage is set for the restoration of two dilapidated heritage buildings that housed government schools in the Union territory of Puducherry under the Puducherry smart city development project. Puducherry Smart City Development Limited (PSCDL) will be spending Rs 7.6 crore for the restoration of these school buildings.
The 19th Board meeting of PSCDL has approved tender for the conservation, restoration and redevelopment of Calve College Heritage School building and restoration of VOC Heritage School building. The two schools were closed for the past four years as the structure was in an unsafe condition.
PSCDL has accorded approval to restore Calve College building at an estimated cost of 4.8 crore and VOC school building at an estimated cost of 2.8 crore. Mumbai-based firm Savani Heritage Conservation Private Limited is the lowest bidder and will soon be issued the work order. The contractor will have to complete the work within a period of 12 to 16 months so that the two government schools can resume their academic operations in the new buildings.
Calve College was built in 1875 and the architectural design of the building features a mix of Indian and colonial styles. The two-storied facade is characterised by a series of arcaded corridors. A central collonaded porch with a pediment marks the main entrance of the building. The classrooms are arranged around a large U-shaped courtyard with collonaded verandas. On the first floor, there is a series of columns supporting the sloped Mangalore tile roof. The ’Thane’ cyclone in 2011 had caused substantial damage to the building.
The building which housed the VOC school was built in 1886 and its architectural design was inspired by the Calve College building with European features. Though preserved poorly, it has a great impact on the streetscape. It is one of the few European style buildings in the Tamil precinct.