Phoenix College was founded by Fred Boltman, a retired engineer who used his pension funds and mortgaged his home in order to start the venture. Phoenix College empowered the community by supplying quality education at an affordable cost to previously disadvantaged learners.
Phoenix College has occupied Happiness House for approaximately 10 years. The location of the building, conveniently close to rail and taxi services, has been a key factor underlying the success of the college.
The full-time school caters mainly for learners that live in the inner city. Many come from surbabs such as Hillbrow, Braamfontein and Joubert Park but leaners from areas such as Soweto and Alexandra are also accommodated. The majority of these learners are from a population segment that has been historically disadvantaged and is representantive of the poorer socio-economic classes.
In line with government policies, the Saturday school provides extra lessons to uplift learners from poorly perfoming public schools in outlying districts. In 1994, Phoenix College opened with approximately 90 leaners and 8 staff members. Today, the learner base has grown to 1255 learners including:
25 learners in pre-school 750 learners in the Full-Time School 400 leaners in the Saturday School 80 learners in the Matric Re-write Centre