BY BRYNLEY VAN AARD
Huis ten Bosch women were recently informed that their home would not be ready for occupation until October 2020 due to renovations being added to the schedule alongside the necessary repairs.
The majority of the women will be moving into “Huis ten Bosch 2020”, in the new Huis Marais building.
In a meeting held last week, the current Huis ten Bosch residents were informed of Stellenbosch University’s (SU) plans for their residence by Pieter Kloppers, the Director at the Centre for Student Communities (CSC). Due to this extra construction, Huis ten Bosch will only be taking in residents from 2021.
Stan du Plessis, Chief Operating Officer at SU, said the building plan includes renovations like the compartmentalisation of all rooms, the installation of fire doors in the rooms and the layout of evacuation routes, the installation of fireproof ceilings, a new fire alarm system in the residence and kitchen, as well as the provision of additional electric points in the rooms.
Current Huis ten Bosch residents, along with about 30 first years, have been given different options for their housing for next year. The options include moving into rooms in Victoria Street, in Paul Kruger and Armentum or 30 spaces in other SU residences as well as the 74 spaces in Huis Marais’s South section above their archives and clubhouse.
“We are thankful for the opportunity for Huis ten Bosch 2020 to live in a building that will keep
most of our community located together and we will face the challenges that come with it in order to continue being the great residence that campus has come to know,” Ella van Rensburg, prim of Huis ten Bosch, said.
According to Stander Terblanche, the prim of Huis Marais, the shifting of Huis Marais from a men’s residence to a temporary mixed residence will not be easy.
“We understand that Huis ten Bosch needs our help and we do want to help them, but Huis Marais is already one of the smaller residences and every member of the house already participates a lot, now the rest of the house will have to bring double the gees next year,” Terblanche said.
Huis Marais did not accept the move right away and tried to see what they could do to keep their residence the way it currently is.
“We tried to give them alternatives to give the committee to look at, but at the end, the committee stuck to Huis Marais being chosen because according to CSC we can make the easiest divide between male and female side in res. A temporary wall will be built in the middle,” Terblanche continued.
Huis ten Bosch women were also given the option to leave Huis ten Bosch completely and move into another SU residence but then they would not be allowed to return to Huis ten Bosch in 2021. Megan Collins, a first year at Huis ten Bosch decided to move permanently into Nerina next year, and said that she does not want to be uncertain or end up in a residence she does not want to be in.
A first year at Huis Marais said that the Huis ten Bosch women are not to blame. “We obviously don’t blame the Huis ten Bosch girls, because they can’t help it. We blame our residence head and the CSC, because 18 of must go live in Huis Visser and 12 others in flats opposite Merriman and then we get a whole lot less first years, maybe even none.”
According to Terblanche, Huis Marais is taking on about 36 first years for next year, pending on the final decision, but they expect that 29 residents will have to be accommodated outside of Huis Marais to create space for Huis ten Bosch.
“We don’t have a final answer on the flats yet and if we get them it will be mostly the residents that applied for senior living spaces, didn’t get in, and were placed back in Huis Marais,” Terblanche said. Martin Viljoen, SU spokesperson said that Dr Johan Groenewald, the Residence Head of Huis Marais has indicated that he would not like to make a comment at this time.