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New computer centre
2007-05-15

Attending the sod turning ceremony of the University of the Free State's (UFS) new computer centre were, from the left: Mr Abraham Makhalanyane (Director of Sikeyi Construction), Prof. Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS) and Mr Johann Ströhfeldt (Director of Ströhfeldt Construction Group). The centre, which will host about 815 computers, will be erected in a joint venture between the two construction companies.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs
 

UFS gets new computer centre

The first sod of a new computer centre which will host about 815 computers was turned on the Main Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein today.

The computer centre, which will be situated next to the UFS Sasol Library, will have various state-of-the-art computer laboratories. This is the first new building to be built on the Main Campus since the student centre, Thakaneng Bridge, and will be erected at a total project cost of R19 million.

“The computer centre is an important addition to our strategy to promote e-learning and is a sign of the new era of blended learning which students are now practicing,” said Prof. Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, during the sod-turning ceremony.

According to Prof. Fourie the building will address students’ need for available computers. “All our students do not have a computer to assist them with their studies. The centre will empower them to complete their studies successfully and will provide them with the opportunity to conduct research in an academic environment,” said Prof. Fourie.

“Various laboratories for among others group work, as well as laboratories where students can work in a quiet environment on individual assignments will be established. Rooms for classes where a computer is a prerequisite to students as well as rooms for examinations, tests and practical sessions will be provided,” said Prof. Fourie.

The computers will not only comprise of traditional programmes, but rooms with programmes for open learning will also be established. Subject specific software will be installed in certain rooms to enable students to obtain a good knowledge of the subject fields.

The computer centre, which will be open seven days a week, will also be at the disposal of UFS staff.

“I am looking forward to this development on the Main Campus. It will be a thrill to see more than 800 students studying in the computer laboratories,” said Prof. Fourie.

The building will be erected in a joint venture between Ströhfeldt Construction Group and Sikeyi Construction, a black empowerment company. Mr Abraham Makhalanyane, Director of Sikeyi Construction, thanked the UFS for the opportunity to be involved with a project of this magnitude. “A project like this is a great responsibility and I am looking forward to work with a team of experts,” he said. Mr Johann Ströhfeldt, Director of Ströhfeldt Construction Group, said: “We have been working with the UFS on construction projects for more than 25 years. I believe that this project will also contribute to the pride and glory of the UFS.”

The expected completion date of the computer centre is May 2008.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za
14 May 2007
 

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