Sethu Lakshmi Bai Govt. High. Sec. School, Nagarkovil -- a heritage site and renovation is on

Nagarcovil Setu Lakshmi Bai Hr. Sec. school 93 year old

Setu Lakshmi Bai Hr. , Nagarkovil.

93 year old Sethu Lakshmi Bai Govt High. Sec. School,

Sethu Lakshmi Bai Government Higher Secondary School in Nagercoil (Nagarkovil) has been around for more than 93 years.  Founded in 1928 by  the Royal family of Travancore and named after Rani Setu Lakshmi Bai  (5 November 1895– 22 February 1985) it  was once a popular school  known for academic excellence as it was staffed with good teachers.  Parents in  Kanniyakumari district   used to make a bee line to this school to put their children in that school for their quality of teaching, guidance, etc. 
Rani Setu Lakshmi Bai, Travancore,

Above image: Maharani Pooradam Thirunal Sethu Lakshmi Bai of Travancore after her installation ceremony (1924). Though she was a ruler  the British Raj made her the Regent  between 1924 and 1931. She, along with her younger cousin, Moolam Thirunal Sethu Parvathi Bai, were adopted into the Travancore Royal Family and were the granddaughters of the popular painter, Raja Ravi Varma. Born on 19 November 1895 to Ayilyam Nal Mahaprabha of the Utsavamadhom Palace in Mavelikara and Kerala Varma, her  mother was from  the Kolathunad Royal Family that made  Travancore their home towards the end of the 18th century and she was one of daughters of the artist Raja Ravi Varma.  She made several social reforms during her regency including  abolition of the Devadasi system in the temples and animal sacrifices. She believed in local self-government - 1925 and introduced panchayats in the rural areas. She liberalized the acts related to new paper reporting  and modernized the medical facilities No doubt, she was an effective administrator and got a good name during her reign........

With the change of time and system of education countless schools came up offering English medium. Unable to compete with the fast phase of growth of private English medium schools, the old school fell on hard time and consistent neglect  impacted the school structure, particularly the tiled roof built in Kerala style of design. The roofing was further damaged due to  heavy monsoon rains both SW and NE.  

The school that came up in 1928  on a sprawling campus had good sporting facilities with exclusive courts for football, basketball, volleyball and other games.  As for the building, it is a single story structure covering 21,864 square feet, with large windows and entrances. The ground floor with high ceiling has Madras terrace with quality wooden rafters whereas the  first floor  has  highly slanting  Mangalore tiled roofing  on both sides well supported by ridge beams, common rafters, wall plates, etc., made of  teak wood.  Both on the ground and first floor the long wide veranda will not only cut down the sun's radiation, but also drain out the water falling on the roof easily. Apart, it provides good air circulation. 

Before the heritage division was formed, the PWD officials said they  did not preserve the leaking roof with right procedure. instead, they used concrete to plug the holes and fix the tiles. Now, the heritage division of the Public Works Department (PWD) launched a big project to restore and conserve  more than 25 heritage structures across Tamil Nadu with right conservation techniques without compromising on the heritage values. Among them is Sethu Lakshmi Bai Government Higher Secondary School in Nagercoil and funds are allocated to bring the old school back to old grandeur.  

We are restoring the building as part of a project to conserve 14 heritage buildings in Kanniyakumari district. The total allocation is over ₹4.43 crore,”  according to S. Manikandan, Executive Engineer, heritage division of the PWD.  He also explained that  their conservation work would strictly  follow the'' traditional conservation and preservation methods,” 

Paving the tiles at  enormous height is a tough job and the contractor  covered the frames with  galvanized iron sheets (GI sheets) to prevent leaking. They also plan to repair  the damaged windows, etc and do the flooring  with Athangudi tiles that are made near Karikudi and it will impart old look.