Save SMK St Teresa
SMK St Teresa is calling for donations of any kind to help rebuild the school’s hall that was burned to the ground on Oct 29.
Its principal Mary John said that the school board of management members, including Old Teresian’s Association (OTA) and former Teresians, have also been doing their part in organising fundraising activities to add in to assistance received from the state government.
To ease their burden, the school has also received a donation of RM1 million from Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem at Wisma Bapa Malaysia, Petra Jaya on Nov 2.
“We are thankful to the chief minister and the state government for their donation to rebuild the school hall that has been burned down last week.
“We also thank corporate bodies for their help in donating to the school as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes. It is a very challenging time for us now and we really appreciate whatever help we can get,” she said.
According to Mary, nothing could be salvaged from the Oct 29 fire.
“Although the fire did not get into the rooms underneath where it houses the staff rooms, the music room, the library, the Kemahiran Hidup workshop, the Bimbingan and Kaunseling room, as well as the surau and toilet were damaged.
“So for now we cannot use the rooms because the electricity have been switched off as it is not safe and the water has been sipping in through. For the time being, we also have to move the teachers as we will start our schooling tomorrow,” she said.
Rebuilding of a temporary staff room will start immediately after Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination, scheduled to start on Nov 7.
“As for the hall, we will have to start rebuilding it on a later date, as we still need to the tendering and demolish the building. Nevertheless, we will try to rebuild it as soon as we can, probably starting next year as we had also consulted our consultant and they have given us the costing,” she said without disclosing the amount.
Mary said that the OTA has also opened up a Facebook page called ‘Save SMK St Teresa Kuching – OTA’ because they needed to create a legitimate page due to the number of people asking how to channel their donations.
She said that the school currently faces two options, either rebuilding the same two-storey building which will cost approximately RM4.9 million or to have a raised hall of the same size.
“A raised hall where underneath it is empty and raised so that they can still do activities. On a longer term we can actually build to help build several rooms that will cost us about RM2.7 million.
“Therefore, the RM1 million received today will really be helpful for us to start and we are very thankful to the state government and our chief minister who helped us as well as Sharifah Hasidah who is also a former Teresian herself,” she added.
She appeals to corporate bodies and companies especially construction companies to help them in any rebuilding efforts.
“We will also be holding a meeting with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) this Saturday to sit down and look at what are the fundraising options that we have,” she added.
Mary thanked Bomba for their prompt response in containing the fire so that it would not spread to nearby school blocks.
“We appreciate the Bomba that responded swiftly and within 15 minutes they can put out the fire. Otherwise it could be worse and got into nearby buildings.
“And also the military from the 11th Royal Malay Army Regiment as they were also the first to respond that evening. They helped us to take out important things from the building such as the musical instruments and the computers which saw many destruction were made,” she added.
SMK St Teresa, an elite all-girls secondary school in Kuching was founded in 1885. Meanwhile, its hall which was originallY constructed in 1969 was completeD in 1971.
The 10th oldest school in the country which consists of a three-storey classroom block with 15 classrooms used by a total of 1, 2000 students have a total of 75 teachers.
Also present at the visit was Samariang assemblywoman Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.
Those wishing to donate can log in to https://www.facebook.com/stteresakuching.