STIRLING High School’s multimillion-music centre took its first step into physical reality yesterday when the first sod was turned.
Principal Charles Foster and his deputy Alan Webster, who is a music teacher at the school and the driving forces behind the centre, were joined by members of the school’s governing body and pupils at the ceremony.
Also in attendance was architect Fjord Jordaan, who designed the centre, as well as members of the National Lottery Fund (NLF) and Brewcon Construction.
Webster said the centre would boast seven teaching rooms as well as a state-of-the-art auditorium and a Green Room. It will cost R6.1-million to build.
“NLF has provided us with a portion of the funding but substantial fundraising from the Stirling community and the school funds has made this 15year dream of the Stirling music department a reality,” said Webster.
He said that they hoped the centre would stimulate East London’s music scene.
“The centre will not be exclusive for the school; we will host regular community performances, focusing particularly on jazz and classical music.
“I find that a lot of jazz bands from outside East London often come here but struggle to find places where they can perform,” said Webster.
“The construction process will definitely provide a few temporary jobs but we are looking at creating long term jobs, once the centre is up and running.”
Construction is due for completion by September.
Stirling head boy and music department member Sam Burger said: “I feel privileged to be still at the school during this exciting time. This means development for both music and arts and culture in general at the school,” he said.