A look at Curro’s new ‘mega’ high school campus in Cape Town

JSE-listed independent education provider Curro Holdings has opened its new 9,800 square metre campus in Durbanville, just outside Cape Town, which has the capacity to house 1,000 learners, and room for further expansion.

The original Curro Durbanville, located around 5km from the new campus, was the first school in the group’s stable, with the new ‘mega’ campus reflecting the growth of the business in recent years, and semigrating trends.

The campus includes a 360-seater dedicated auditorium designed to facilitate the performing arts. Adjoining it is a dance studio, a drama studio, and six music rooms with inter-movable doors.

Sports facilities include a 400-metre athletics track, six hard tennis courts, four netball courts, an astro turf hockey field, a cricket oval with nets, and a rugby field.

Inspiration for the project was acquired from the best schools in Europe, Brazil and India, while a number of features were inspired by the Southern African continent. The high school for instance includes features that reduce the school’s energy footprint, such as a rainwater harvesting system, Curro said.

The new campus challenges the conventional arrangement of space within a school where usually, the classroom is private, the hall and passages semi-private, and the playground is the school’s public space, Curro said.

“For example, an art classroom opens into an atrium that can be turned into a gallery or exhibitions area, which also shares space with a cafeteria. The cafeteria’s practical and workable kitchen will be used by the hospitality learners, who will be taught in the consumer studies classroom – which also links to the cafeteria,” it said.

“After 24 years, Curro has grown to become a mature and established brand, yet our approach to education constantly evolves, keeping us at the forefront of educational developments,” said Riaan Stroebel, head of High School at Curro Durbanville.

“In an effort to keep Curro Durbanville at the forefront of educational developments, we asked learners and teachers what their vision of an ideal school was before approaching the architects, and then shared that feedback with the architect team. This approach has ensured that our learners were truly at the centre of the new campus design.”

In its most recent trading update published in August 2021, Curro said that its average learner numbers for the first half of the 2021 year increased by 7% to 66,167 learners, boosting revenue by 12% to R1.78 billion.

The group has continued to expand in recent years, most recently with the acquisition of Heronbridge College in Fourways.

Curro stats:

  • Number of learners: 66,167
  • Number of campuses: 76
  • Number of schools: 178
  • Number of teachers: 3,651
  • Learner/teacher ratio: 18
  • Number of employees: 6,245

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