An iconic landmark in the heart of the city, the century-old University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) at K.R. Circle on Thursday will don a new, improved look, while keeping its heritage values intact.
On Thursday, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will inaugurate the newly-built and renovated buildings. Works worth ₹200 crore have been taken up at the UVCE campus, including the renovation which, officials said, has been carried out while maintaining the historical beauty of the buildings.
While the new hostel is being constructed at a cost of ₹22 crore and will accommodate more than 1,000 students in the future, it also has a two-storey dining hall. The main building features Greco-Roman architecture, soundproof classrooms, and a sprawling amphitheatre, which can accommodate 1,000 people.
‘Durable for the next 100 years
Until a few years ago, many of the buildings were in a dilapidated condition. For strength and improvement of the structures, a triple-layer wall was built, which has made the building strong enough to last for another 100 years, university officials said.
The British-era architecture roofs are 25 ft high and the doors are 15 ft high, and the royal look of the building has been kept as before and coloured red, like most heritage buildings, they explained.
Due to its location, the increasing traffic was a bane. However, now classrooms have triple-layer windows. Welcoming the soundproofing feature, one of the final semester students said, “Before, it was very disturbing for us to be in class and during examinations as there was too much noise. Though we are in the last semester, we are happy that at least our juniors are not going to face those issues”.
“Initially, during the construction work, we faced some issues. But at the end of the day, it is beneficial for students and the new look of the campus is fascinating. Also, the two-storey cafeteria is going to open soon, and we are hoping we will get more varieties and hygienic food too,” said Sanaya, a student of the Computer Science Department.
There are two newly-built open-air theatres known as rock open-air theatres. The main door of the newly-set seminar hall resembles an ancient temple door and costs ₹2 lakh for a single door made with teak wood. An artificial fountain is also under construction in front of the main gate.
Venugopal K.R., Vice-Chancellor, BU and former principal of UVCE, said, “The building is renovated under the Public Works Department and most of the engineers who worked on it were from this university itself, and they tried hard to make this building more beautiful with its own heritage look. We are trying to get a seven-storey mechanical block which is already approved by the State Cabinet at a cost of ₹89 crore. All these will make it worth being an autonomous degree giving institution”.
The college has a strong alumni association from all over India and abroad. An alumnus, Major General Neelakantappa (retd.) said, ‘From the very beginning, we wanted our college to be an autonomous one. Earlier, we didn’t have a proper canteen. From both inside and outside, a lot of development work has been done and the good thing is that the Government finally decided to go ahead to make the college autonomous”.