Work is going at a frantic pace on the construction site of the new Royal University of Fine Arts’ North Campus where the new academic year is due to start in October.
More than 200 workers have been hired at a daily rate of $1.25 to $2.50 to have the buildings completed on time, said a supervisor who only identified himself as Thol.
The Mong Reththy Group has committed itself to build RUFA’s campus for performing and circus artists on a site in Russei Keo district in exchange for the campus’ former location near the old stadium off Monivong Boulevard.
According to An Pagna, director of RUFA’s cultural research department, there will be about 20 separate structures for classrooms, rehearsal halls, theaters, circus and office facilities.
The road to the campus is unpaved, which made some students wonder how muddy it will get in the rainy season and how dusty in the dry months.
The 16 families of teachers who accepted land and $3,000 in compensation for leaving their homes on the old campus during a July 9 meeting with the company were given land about 2 km from the new campus, said Huot Vanna, one of the people relocating. They got 10-by-5-meter plots, said An Pagna.
But nine families still live on the old campus, said Thann Sin Thou, a RUFA teacher and community leader. “I dare not stay inside my house because I’m afraid it will be bulldozed someday.” There are two or three bulldozers close to her home, she said.
In early July, Tann Monivann, son in law of the company president Mong Reththy, had assured the families that no home would be demolished until an agreement could be reached, Thann Sin Thou said.
The nine families are hoping for a second face-to-face meeting with company representatives, she said. One family member, who works as a night security guard at the US Embassy, claims he was beaten last week when he tried to leave the grounds to go to work.