The St Joseph Kuching Secondary School (SMK St Joseph Kuching) needs help to carry out extensive restoration of the Mill Hill Block.
It is understood that restoration works cost around RM5.5 million, and it will be done over a period of seven and half months.
Once completed, the school will have back its nine classrooms, the school office and staff rooms.
The restoration works will also see a new exhibition hall and lecture room added to the block.
According to The Borneo Post, the School Board of Management is short of RM3 million from the total needed.
This comes despite being able to raise RM2.5 million through fundraising activities with Old Josephians’ Association, and RM1.5 million grant from the Sarawak government.
The building is important not only to SMK St. Joseph, but also to the history of Kuching and Sarawak.
According to history, the main building of the Mill Hill block was officially declared opened in 1894 by Rajah Charles Brooke, the Second White Rajah of Sarawak, and was once considered “the largest private work carried out in 1894 and indeed the largest building in Kuching” by Sarawak Gazette.
It was also gazetted as a Heritage Building in 2010 by the state Government under Sarawak Cultural Heritage Ordinance 1993.
In 2018, the Mill Hill Blocks were declared unsafe for occupation by the Public Works Department (JKR) and it was closed for use until now.
That said, if you intend to make a donation to restore the block to its former glory, do so by sending money to “SJS Mill Hill Block Restoration” (Maybank 511113526004).
For receipts, kindly email donation deposit slip to firstname.lastname@example.org.