The old hall of St Xavier’s School in Hazaribagh. Picture by Vishvendu Jaipuriar
St Xavier’s School, Hazaribagh, is all set to build a new state-of-the-art auditorium on campus, keeping pace with the increasing number of students and their growing demands.
The school has earmarked Rs 8 crore for the proposed two-storey building that will have all modern facilities — from a tiered seating arrangement to a high-tech sound and light system.
Designed by a Ranchi based-architect, the ground floor will have a conference hall, green rooms and toilets. It will also serve as students’ assembly and dining area. The upper floor will be used for indoor games.
Principal Father P.J. James said the number of students had increased over the years — it’s around 2,400 today — and the old auditorium, situated near the primary section, wasn’t big enough.
“We organise various events and inter-school competitions round the year. The old auditorium can accommodate only around 500 audience, much less than what we need. So, we generally erect tents during these events, which is troublesome,” Father James said.
He added that the new facility that would come up near Cronin Block close to the entrance gate would have a seating capacity of around 1,800 people.
Moreover, security is another major concern. “An indoor facility is very important for ensuring safety of students and better crowd management,” the principal pointed out.
He said extra curricular activities were an integral part of academics and good infrastructure was essential to provide students a proper to showcase their talents.
The foundation stone for the auditorium was laid during the school’s golden jubilee celebrations in January. According to sources, the school authorities have already received a go-ahead from the local municipal authorities for the project.
“Work is likely to begin in January-February next year. And we hope the building will be ready within a year,” Father James told The Telegraph.
While the school will arrange a major portion of the co-st, it has requested members of its alumni to contribute to the development of their alma mater.
The old facility, which was built in the ’60s, will be converted into classrooms for a play school that will come up in the near future.
Over the past five decades, the old hall has been the venue for debates, elocution, science exhibitions, plays, award ceremonies, annual day functions and Saturday night movies. Besides, it has been an examination centre during matriculation.
Even, government agencies, local clubs and political parties used take the hall — the only one of its kind in the town — on lease to host various programmes.
However, the school is not going to rent out the new auditorium to outsiders.
“This will be the only auditorium of its kind in Hazaribagh. And it will be used only for educational purpose and not to generate money,” the Xavier’s principal said.