Four months after the first stone was laid, the new dormitories are now three storeys high. The work is going ahead unhampered and the students should be able to move into the premises before the end of the school year.
“We’ve just welcomed the 16th intake at Sala Baï and the 120 students are housed in several properties that we rent in Siem Reap”, explains Philippe Bès, Sala Baï Director. “The construction of these new dormitories is an essential step in the development of the school which will be able to take in 150 students per year, from 2018-2019, and accommodate them more easily. The students will live together, close to the school, in buildings that belong to Sala Baï, in much better conditions in terms of health and safety.
From September 2018, 105 girls and 45 boys will be housed in two buildings designed by the architect Claire Campens, who also designed the new school which was inaugurated in February 2016. Claire has been practising in Cambodia for nearly 10 years and has an in-depth understanding of the country’s constraints. “First and foremost, we made used of light and shade and ensured protection from the rain,” she explains. “Just like the school buildings, we designed the Sala Baï dormitories to offer a maximum amount of natural ventilation. Our construction techniques favour upward ventilation which means that hot air is evacuated transversally and the rooms remain cool, while saving as much energy as possible”.
Located 500 meters from the school, the new dormitories are surrounded by greenery and provide a restful space for the students to relax in. Rice fields surround the buildings which from the top floors offer a stunning view of Phnom Krom mountain, in the direction of lake Tonlé Sap. “Right from the outset we fell in love with this plot because of the large number of existing trees on it, most of which were kept and some replanted” explains site manager Pharith Sar. “This is a very quiet area, close to the pagoda and in a street in which a lot of families already have homes. It’s important for the students to feel safe.”
The construction work is progressing according to the initial schedule. So we are pleased to announce that the inauguration of the new Sala Baï boarding schools will take place on February 27, 2018. We will communicate more details on this topic in the coming months, but you can already save the date!