Capella House’s temporary home

* Work on the new premises for Capella House begins on the flat, empty land of Laerskool Paul Greyling, Fish Hoek, at the beginning of the year.

The school evacuated its Kommetjie Road premises when riots erupted outside the school in October last year. It found emergency premises at Sun Valley Primary School’s library and outside bomas for two weeks and then relocated to Soetwater Enviro Centre for the remainder of 2015 (“Pupils uprooted due to Masi violence,” False Bay Echo, November 5)

“Knowing that the situation remained volatile and with the advice that the safety of our children could not be guaranteed, the school board took the decision not to return to the previous premises,” said Capella House’s Sue Raath.

So began an exhaustive investigation of more than 21 different venues until finally Laerskool Paul Greyling principal André Engelbrecht offered the school an empty field on which to set up, said Ms Raath.

“And so another move, the third in three months and our biggest yet involving our classroom, furniture and resources, including our library. We had two teams packing up, one at Soetwater and one at the old Synergy site (in Kommetjie Road) with holidays fast approaching – the pressure was on! Paul Greyling kindly offered us their stage to store our ‘boxed up’ school before we took a welcome break over Christmas.

“We started again on January 4 with electricity, water and sewerage being connected to the site. Between January 11 and 20 when we opened, the Capella staff and a few amazingly supportive parents assisted us in creating what parents are calling our ‘pop-up’ school from scratch. We now have a busy playground with jungle gym, boats and a water feature that the children are enjoying.

“One of our children commented, ‘Capella is just so great because all of the kind children and kind teachers. It’s not about the classrooms or where we are, it’s just about the people in the school.’”

Ms Raath said Laerskool Paul Greyling staff had been most welcoming and accommodating and they were grateful for their assistance. “Our longer term project regarding premises of our own continues alongside the development of the Banks Road site and we will see what possibilities the future holds,” she said.