Governor MK Narayanan and Harsh Vardhan Lodha release a commemorative volume to mark the diamond jubilee of South Point. (Arnab Mondal)
Two years ago, the chief minister had made a gift — land for the expansion of South Point school. On Friday, it was the turn of Harsh Vardhan Lodha, a trustee of the society that runs the school, who announced that work on the new campus would begin in six months.
Lodha promised guardians, students, teachers and staff members “a new South Point campus with an infrastructure that you all will be proud of”.
“This is a historic year for South Point… a year in which we start working on the new South Point campus…. We shall shortly be finalising our architects and team that will convert this dream into a reality,” Lodha said at the school’s diamond jubilee celebration at Science City auditorium. “We should begin in another six months’ time.”
The authorities are now in the process of shortlisting architects for the 4.32 acres that they have already paid for. Sources said the “possession formalities” would be completed after the elections.
“The state government has allotted suitable land to South Point at an extremely favourable rate to develop this new campus and fulfil our dreams. On behalf of South Point and the MP Birla Group I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our beloved chief minister Mamata Banerjee who has been instrumental in ensuring this land is allotted to us at the earliest,” Lodha said.
The CBSE section of the school will be moved to the new campus, according to Krishna Damani, the spokesperson for the school.
The chief guest of the occasion, governor M.K. Narayanan, released a commemorative volume, Celebrations 60, Memories & Dreams, containing articles and pictures tracing the school’s journey over six decades.
South Point was started on April 1, 1954, with a batch of 20 and now boasts more than 12,000 students.
“South Point confirms the truth of the old adage that the real work of an institution of learning is not longevity but the nature of its products, that is the students who come out of these institutions,” said Narayanan. “The success of any school depends on several factors. Students and teachers are without doubt the most critical elements. I compliment them for the sustained commitment to excellence.”
The diamond jubilee celebration was also marked by the felicitation of Shyamasree Lal, one of the first teachers to join the institution, Dwarri Nayak, one of the first members of the non-teaching staff, Devi Sivadas, one of the first students, and Dipali Sengupta, the vice-principal of the school and the longest serving member of the staff.