Makerere University Main building
The reconstruction of the main building will cost Shillings 20.5billion, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe has revealed. The university handed over the building to Excel Construction Company on Monday this week.
According to Nawangwe, Excel Construction Company quoted Shillings 20.5 Billion, which is close to their own estimate of about Shillings 21 Billion.
Excel Construction Company competed against M/S V-Con Construction (U) Ltd, Zhaughuo Oversees Construction Engineering Co Ltd, Krishna Construction Co. Ltd, Jiangsu CJI Uganda Co.Ltd, China Nanjing International Ltd, Scaffold Engineering and Amp Construction Ltd, Canaan Construction Co Ltd, Sadeem Al Kuwait and Reliable Engineering and Decor Ltd.
Fire gutted the iconic building popularly known as the ivory in 2020. After over a year, the university hopes that the old building will be demolished, a new structure set up and work completed by September 8, 2022, before the centennial celebrations. Cabinet resolved to reconstruct the building following recommendations made by a committee set up to assess the structural integrity of the structure.
As a result, the cabinet directed the Ministry of Finance to release Shillings 21Billion as per the university estimate. While the exterior design for the new main building will remain intact, the interior will be redesigned. Engineer Christina Kakeeto, the Director of Estates and Works at Makerere University explained that the interior redesign is intended to accommodate modern facilities like lifts.
In addition, only a few departments will be housed at the new main building according to resolutions from the university council. These include the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and his deputies together with the University Secretary.
The rest of the departments like human resources, public relations and finance will find new office space. However, Nawangwe notes that while the Shillings 20.5 Billion is sufficient for the reconstruction, there would be a need for over Shillings 4Billion for furnishing the new structure.
To raise money for refurbishing, the university is planning to launch a fundraiser among alumni and well-wishers. Nawangwe notes when the main building was gutted by fire, only the Master Card Foundation raised US$1 Million which was put to aiding recovery from the fire.
The 79-year-old building was the face of the University that appeared on postage stamps, postcards, advertising boards, academic journals and national currency over the years.