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Master Plan

INTRODUCTION

Jaffna Hindu College (JHC) is an educational institution, with more than hundred years of history. Since established in 1890, JHC has provided excellence in education to hundreds of thousands of students from all part of Sri Lanka. The JHC is considered to be one of the best educational institutions in Sri Lanka, for the quality of educational services and sports activities.

The JHC has been growing over the years and currently has about 2000 students enrolled. This growth demanded new teaching spaces and facilities. There were new buildings built in the near past while few old buildings remained. The old buildings stand strong in their own character while these new buildings lacks in harmony. Especially the oldest building of JHC, the ‘Prayer Hall Block’, has a significant heritage value not only for JHC but also for people of Jaffna.

The school campus environment appears to be a concrete jungle and lacks in landscaping. An institution such as JHC needs properly designed built environment for these students and staff to achieve the best outcome.

The aim of this report is to consider some of the problems that may be faced by the institution and to recommend a ‘Master Plan’, that will overcome these problems and to achieve a better built environment.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
The existing oldest buildings, particularly the Prayer Hall Block was built in 1890, built mainly with lime stone and lime plaster, and may soon become unsafe to students use.

Buildings that exist along the boundary lines of  KKS Road, College Road and College Lane limit future expansion of those roads. Possible solution to the on going problems in the North and future development of Jaffna may demand further expansion of those roads, especially the KKS road.

Buildings that exist along the boundary lines of  KKS Road, College Road and College Lane limit future expansion of those roads. Possible solution to the on going problems in the North and future development of Jaffna may demand further expansion of those roads, especially the KKS road.

While the old buildings stand strong in their own character, the new buildings lack in harmony.Appropriately developed landscaping and built environment is essential for any educational institution. There is no such an environment, at JHC.

There are courtyards that exist within the school campus. But these are just spaces without any character.The two campuses of the college, the main campus and the Cumaraswamy Hall campus are separated by College Road. There is no safer access between the two. With the expectation that the life will return to normal in the North the traffic level of the College Road , unless it is closed only for the use of JHC, shall increase and create further safety issues.

There are courtyards that exist within the school campus. But these are just spaces without any character.The two campuses of the college, the main campus and the Cumaraswamy Hall campus are separated by College Road. There is no safer access between the two. With the expectation that the life will return to normal in the North the traffic level of the College Road , unless it is closed only for the use of JHC, shall increase and create further safety issues.

There are courtyards that exist within the school campus. But these are just spaces without any character.The two campuses of the college, the main campus and the Cumaraswamy Hall campus are separated by College Road. There is no safer access between the two. With the expectation that the life will return to normal in the North the traffic level of the College Road , unless it is closed only for the use of JHC, shall increase and create further safety issues.

APPROACH TO SOLVE PROBLEMS 
The ‘Prayer Hall Block’ has to be preserved for its historical importance. But its condition creates a question whether this building will stand for long. It is therefore necessary for it to be rebuilt with its own identity, with modern facilities. This new building shall be relocated away from the road, allowing future expansion of KKS Road.‘The Entrance’ of JHC, the ceremonial entry from KKS Road to Prayer Hall Block should be preserved and repeated in the new building.

The existing character of the pillared verandah/walkways shall be repeated in future buildings to maintain harmony.

Introduction of an alternative entry from the College Road for day to day use by students and staff via the administration block. This alternative entry shall focus to the existing Temple at the middle courtyard.Introduction of overhead bridges, one from main JHC campus to Cumaraswamy Hall side and other to sports facilities.

As many large trees as possible with seating under, should be established within courtyards. Low level landscaping is needed along building frontage and leftover pocket lands.

MASTER PLAN

This report proposes a master plan, which includes re-building of the Prayer Hall Block, a centenary building along College Road and introduction of landscaping in existing courtyards.

Re-Constructed Prayer Hall Block

The master plan proposes to accurately document the existing Prayer Hall Block, and then to demolish. A new Prayer Hall Block should be built with re-introduction of the same character of the existing building. The new building shall be located at least 6m setback from KKS road. The new Prayer Hall Block shall include the following.Modern building, with the re-introduction of existing characters. ‘The Entrance’, same as the existing entrance of JHC from KKS Road. ‘V’ shaped two way stair, same as the one faces the inner courtyard. Three storey building with two storey frontage. A prayer hall, stage and other facilities, similar to existing, but in different scale. New landscaping in front of the entry. Pillared verandah/walkways.

The Centenary Block

A three storey class rooms and administration block along the College Road, which include the following.A three storey block with class rooms, administration and staff facilities. An alternative entrance to the school, which focus the existing temple in the middle courtyard. Administration at ground level next to the entrance and class rooms over. Pillared verandah/walkway along inner courtyard. An overhead bridge connecting both the main campus of the college and Cumaraswamy Hall side.

Landscape

The master plan strongly recommends for planed landscaping all over the school. Larger trees to be planted along KKS Road entrance and along College road. Larger trees and seating under to be established in all courtyards with paving, where students and staff could enjoy better teaching environment. These courtyards shall become break time relaxing spaces and playing area. Low level landscaping, ground covers, shrubs including flowering plants to be planted along frontage of all buildings wherever possible.

SUMMARY

JHC has a history of producing excellence in education and sports activities and will continue to do so in the future as well. As a result, JHC plays an important role in the development of educational excellence in North Sri Lanka and has a social responsibility towards the community. For JHC to continuously fulfill these responsibilities, the school should have its built environment maintained at high standards.

The architect believes that the proposed master plan will help JHC to maintain its character and the built environment at its best.Such an achievement shall cost JHC a large amount of investment, which is in the interest of a very long term view of the school. The report strongly recommends that this project be jointly promoted by the Principal, Staff, Students and Old boys living in countries all over the world.

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