An entirely new building will be constructed to accommodate the digital arts department’s growing numbers.

The Wits digital arts department building on Stiemens Street is currently under construction and will be fully functional as of 2021.

The department, which has functioned within the Digital Arts Convent since 2003, had only three staff members, and 15 postgraduate students, eventually growing to 80 students with the addition of an undergraduate programme introduced in 2015.

Dirk van den Eynde, project manager for campus planning and development told Wits Vuvuzela that the digital arts department has expanded rapidly in the past few years, owing to the need for a bigger building.

A digital image of what the building will look like once completed.
Photo: Provided

“The department is growing out of its seams, so they got approval from senate to build a new building and increase their intake number.”

Angus Davidson, ICT project manager at the digital arts department said that in 2015 the department started an expansion that by the end of 2021, will see approximately 350 students in both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Once construction is completed the building will house six meeting spaces and open plan staff offices, as well as labs, seminar rooms, research and testing spaces.

Davidson said, “While we have waited for the construction, our classes have increased in size dramatically.  We have had to, in the interim, make use of temporary spaces which has added additional challenges.

“Once construction is complete we will once again have all of our students under one roof. It’s going to be a very exciting space to study in.”

The buildings are being completed by Lemay Construction and will only be functional for educational purposes as of 2021.