The under-construction sport centre (pictured above) at Debre Tabor University will feature basketball, handball and table tennis courts.

Debre Tabor University, one of the 50 state universities in the country, has started the construction of a sport centre and facility that will require the investment of close to 60 million Br.

The construction of the facilities is taking place in an effort to enhance student skills as well as reduce stress during exams, according to Anegagregn Gashaw, president of the  University, which secured 1.1 billion Br in funding for the current fiscal year.

Resting on 4,000Sqm of land, the centre will be built inside the main compound of the University, which enrolled over 15,000 students within regular, summer and extension programmes in the last academic year. Established in 2008, the University has one academic unit of Medicine & Health Science College and five faculties: Technology; Agriculture & Environmental Science; Natural & Computational Science; Social Science & Humanities; and Business & Economics.

Abay Demise Construction, which was established in 2006, was hired to build the facility. Currently, Abay Demise is constructing the 1.8-billion-Br Debre Tabor Referral Hospital with three other firms and previously worked on Tana Beles Sugar Factory and Debark University.

MTT Consulting Architects & Engineers Plc, a firm founded in 2016 that has already worked on the construction of Debre Tabor, Wolkite and Madda Walabu universities' referral hospitals, as well as a branch for Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, is supervising the construction of the project.

The game centre will feature basketball, handball and table tennis courts in addition to a gymnasium, locker rooms, restrooms and shops. Designed to accommodate more than 2,300 people, the centre will also have a first aid office and store.

The facility might prevent the students from going to addictive places and minimise conflicts inside the University, according to Anegagregn.

The construction of the centre, which began four months ago, reached 30pc and is scheduled to be completed within a year.

Abay Demise was awarded the project at the end of January and started construction on February 24, 2020. However, the construction site has been changed three times, since the contractor identified the University’s water and sewer lines during excavation, according to Assefa Demise, founder of Abay Demise Construction.

"The structural concrete of the centre is now completed, and the remaining will be built with a steel structure," said Assefa.

The University graduated 3,183 students during the 2019 academic year. Of the total graduates, 3,157 were undergraduates and 36 were postgraduates. It has 50 graduate and undergraduate programmes in major areas of agriculture, technology, health medicine, natural and social science and humanities, business and economics.

Ethiopia has 50 state universities and 250 other colleges, with 38 teacher colleges that provide three-year diplomas. Last year, these institutions graduated 873,000 undergraduate students.

The construction of the site has created temporary job opportunities for almost 500 people.

In addition to students, professors and lecturers can also use the facility, according to the president of the University, which is also working to upgrade its security system by installing surveillance cameras.

In addition to the physical exercise, the facility will enable students to exercise their brains, according to Belay Hagos (PhD), an associate professor at Addis Abeba University’s Institute of Education Research.

“It'll have a great contribution to the elimination of boredom, unhappiness and depression of students,” said Belay. "In addition, all higher education institutions should provide emotional and self-control skill training to students."

PUBLISHED ON Aug 16,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1059]

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