A Facelift, Not a Renovation
This year, Wittenborg's new and returning students will be greeted by a much-needed image overhaul at the Spoorstraat Building. The project accompanies Wittenborg's move from the Aventus building to the Brinklaan location.
“It's a facelift, not a renovation,” says Peter Birdsall, President of Wittenborg. “We aren't drastically changing the structure of the building.”
For some time, Wittenborg's home on Spoorstraat since 2015 had been in want of modernisation. “The paint was chipping, there was damage on these old walls because of students knocking into them, that sort of thing,” Birdsall describes.
The revamping of the Spoorstraat campus' façade and interior includes new panels to protect the walls from damage and hallways now contain tall, modern desks with comfortable barstools.
Wittenborg plans to update maps on the outside to reflect the exit from Aventus and entrance into Brinklaan. There is also what Birdsall referred to as his and his wife Wittenborg CEO Maggie Feng's own project: A beautifully decorated library and computer lab.
And finally, a new paint job was underway to refine the building's interior.
Getting Down to the Wire
When visiting the campus just a few days before Introduction Week, Birdsall observed that there was still much to be done.
“All of this looks beautiful,” Birdsall affirmed, praising the top-quality performance of the workers Wittenborg hired.
However, with little time to spare, scaffolding still surrounded the building's exterior and blocked the main entrance. Tape from fresh paint work had yet to be removed. Screens had not been put up in every classroom, and various tools and items still lay in the hallway from the workers who were doing their hardest to complete the job on time.
"We can't leave all this stuff in the hallway because it's dangerous for students,” Birdsall explained. He remarked that Wittenborg would not allow students into the building until the items were cleared to ensure their safety. "We're coming down to the wire right about now, and if things can't be completed, we will have to figure out a Plan B."
"We Will Do Our Best"
Speaking to the head painter on Thursday, August 18, Birdsall stressed that the Spoorstraat building's interior needed to be finished before Introduction Week to ensure the safety of students. “I am really counting on you to get this done in time before Monday.”
"We will do our best,” the head painter replied. He affirmed that the building's interior would be fully completed before Monday, when new students begin to arrive for Introduction Week. “By Saturday, everything will be finished."
Lasantha De Silva, Wittenborg's Head of Operations, who has international experience planning and executing construction projects, was optimistic for the building's interior.
“The inside will be done by Monday,” he assured with confidence.
A Lot of Worry Over Nothing
In the end, De Silva was correct. Thanks to the diligence of the contractors and persistence of the Wittenborg family, the Spoorstraat building was fully operational in time for Introduction Week. All the debris and industrial materials have been cleared, and the building is already very populated with staff.
The smell of new paint still permeates the air, giving a fresh and modern feeling to the historic building, which was once a Catholic boys’ school. All the walls, doors and windows sport crisp paint jobs, and the hallway desks are already quite popular.
Workshops and faculty meetings are now in session, and staff are comfortable and can feel at home in the updated building. Wittenborg is excited to welcome the coming generation of students into the halls of the Spoorstraat campus once again.
by Olivia Nelson