The Priyamvada Birla Campus of South Point takes shape
In the beginning it was just like a dream. Brief vignettes of inspiration merging with imagination; sudden, brilliant flashes leading the mind towards an unthought-of world; stacking rainbow blocks with ambitious fingers; and reaching a plateau where all doubts, debates and disbeliefs fell away. And at that precise moment, a new reality took shape – one that stood taller than a dream.
For South Point, the reality of its past, present and future is rooted in such magnificent dreams. Finding its first home in a red-roofed, quaint bungalow in Mandeville Gardens and later spreading wider wings in Ballygunge Place might just be termed leaps of faith in search of excellence. But, since, all journeys of mankind only look ahead, the School, too, looks forward to another, its grandest so far, housewarming. To its new address – the Priyamvada Birla Campus of South Point at Mukundapur.
Shri Harsh Vardhan Lodha, Chairman, M.P. Birla Group, takes us through the build-up to this milestone, “Conceptualising and planning the new campus for South Point was a Herculean task − a task which was accomplished with the joint efforts of the entire South Point management team, international and local architects and consultants to ensure we create a unique infrastructure that meets our aspirations as well as inspires to excel. We deliberated at length to make our campus as complete as possible, as user friendly as possible, as environment friendly as possible and as technologically advanced as possible to immerse our Pointers in an atmosphere which will enable them not only to excel academically but also help shape their all-round capabilities -- a campus where wholesome learning would not only build upon the legacy of South Point but also be at par with most modern schools in the world today.”
The new campus will stand on 6.65 acres of land off the E. M. Bypass at Mukundapur, with more than 7,61,000 square feet built-up areaWhile the new campus is the stepping stone to something big and grand, it also carefully handles the valued South Point persona. And factors in something equally valued – the hopes and happiness of thousands of Pointers and their families. To achieve the best and strongest in design and construction aspects, M/S D. P. Architects Pte. Ltd. of Singapore was entrusted with creating the concept plan and schematic design of the campus; M/S Design Cell are the local architects and M/S Pankaj Dharkar & Associates are the MEP and Green Building consultants.
Let us imagine the new School campus: it will stand on 6.65 acres of land off the E. M. Bypass at Mukundapur, with a built-up area of more than 7,61,000 square feet. Sufficient for wondrous flights of the blue-white birds? Such key musings must have been playing in the minds of everyone who attended the auspicious bhoomi puja – the ceremony to mark commencement of construction at the site on 1 November 2018. Shri Lodha performed the rituals, to the chanting of mantras by priests. A sparkling blue sky and a companionable sunshine fell into stride with South Point on this momentous morning.
Three hundred airy and well- equipped classrooms will seat 40-50 students in each while the nursery classrooms will seat only 25 students in each section
Considering that classrooms are the nerve-centre of the School, they were given primary importance while streamlining space management in the new campus. Three hundred classrooms -- roomy, airy and equipped with audiovisual resources as well as student-friendly furniture -- are going to seat no more than 50 students in each. Since the needs and priorities of tiny tots are different as well as specialized, Nursery classrooms will seat only 25 students in each section. Two indoor playrooms and an outdoor covered play area for Nursery children are sure to provide them a happy, skill-enhancing and an active space in the years to come. To ease the teaching-learning process, single shift will be introduced from Classes I to XII in the new campus.
In South Point, education always goes way beyond the chalk and talk set-up. And that holds true for all subjects. Laboratories are, therefore, allotted prime spaces in the new campus. Here, Pointers will gain knowledge by using state-of-the-art equipment and learn to be observant, to work out what really happens and store the gathered information for future use. Experiments, researches and scholarly analyses will be carried out in seven Computer Labs, five Mathematics Labs, three Language Labs, seven Composite Labs, the Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Biotech, Home Science, Geography, Psychology, Fashion Designing and Robotics Labs. Practice and experience will, thus, light up every eager young mind, whichever discipline he or she belongs to.
Never one to under-emphasize the significance of Libraries – the present campuses have two well-stocked ones – the School presents three highly improved Libraries in its new campus, keeping an eye on their designs, storage capacities, digital provisions, modern facets and, of course, generous spaces for all kinds of titles, journals and reference books. They are surely going to cater to a wide range of learning and teaching styles.
The extensive site of the new campus looks into every crucial infrastructural element, key to school education. Its positive and holistic environment will include one large Multipurpose Room, dedicated for each class; six Music Rooms; a pair of Art Studios; a Commercial Art Room; three large Auditoriums-cum-multipurpose Halls, seating 1000-plus each, perfect for hosting various School programmes, activities and assemblies.
One feature that Pointers have sorely missed all these years is the lack of playgrounds in their School. Cut to the scenario in the new campus: sprawling fields for outdoor sports and an indoor sports arena with facilities for gymnastics, badminton, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, skating, carom, chess, darts etc. promise loads of fun and relaxation, fitness and well-being, in short, the perfect space for sharpening extra-academic skills. Medals, trophies, prizes and awards are sure to pour in more frequently for Pointers from sports and co-curricular competitions in the years ahead.
In keeping with South Point’s unwavering commitment to the safety and security of all stakeholders – especially after achieving the OHSAS Certification – the new campus is going to be furnished with suitably equipped Medical Rooms -- with a total of 25 beds -- to tackle injuries or minor illnesses by trained matrons till further assistance is sought. Among other facilities coming up are Teacher-Parent Interaction Rooms, so very essential for PTMs or such other sessions; a Cafeteria with a mobile vending system across the campus; and a Retail Outlet.
Set amid the still-green ambience of Mukundapur, the new campus keeps in mind its overall impact on the environment. Its eco-friendly consciousness has won the Platinum Green School Building pre-certification from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). The campus has also been selected for inclusion in the Energy Efficient Model Buildings (EEMB) program under the project on Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology (EECB) of the United Nations Development Programme’s Global Environment Facility (UNDP-GEF) and Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Govt. of India (BEE). The proposed solar energy generation, sewage treatment and bio-gas plants as well as water recycling projects are key aspects of the new campus’ planning and design processes and commitment towards the community and the environment. The whole idea is to create anew an institution on the 64-year-old loving and vivacious heritage of School.
Shri Lodha sums up, “In a few years from now we would move into the Priyamvada Birla Campus of South Point, a campus which was a dream of Pujya Badima, and our South Point team feels humbled to have been given the opportunity of translating this dream into a reality and initiating this very important new chapter in the history of South Point.”
Two kingfishers take flight from the reedy banks of the nearest waterbody; a dream gets itself scripted in their twilight-kissed, halcyon wings. A dream called the Priyamvada Birla Campus of South Point at Mukundapur – poised to soar above the tallest trees in the vicinity in the years to come.
As a long-cherished and an exquisite reality.
Highlights of facilities at the Priyamvada Birla Campus of South Point
The Priyamvada Birla Scholarship will be awarded every year, starting from 2013, to meritorious students belonging to the low income group, pursuing their studies in under-graduate courses in Colleges and Institutes in West Bengal on Merit cum Means Basis.