Redevelopment and Decant Update December 2015

Island School opened in 1967, making it one of the oldest ESF schools. An assessment of the building in 2011 showed that major redevelopment are needed. Since then, senior staff within the school and the ESF have been working to secure funding and draw up detailed plans to demolish the current building and develop an exemplary campus.

Built over eight floors, the new school will include a performing arts centre, an indoor swimming pool, a sports hall, basketball courts, modern laboratories, sky gardens, a central café, innovative learning environments and creative studios. As well as a range of other facilities, there will be a designated parking for school buses under the school buildings to facilitate pick-up and drop-off and thus relieve pressure from Borrett Road itself.

While the site on Borrett Road is being redeveloped, the Education Bureau has offered Island School two temporary school sites in Shatin Wai and Tai Wai. One of these sites will accommodate students in Years 7, 8, 12 and 13 and the other Years 9-11. Both sites have a similar size and layout and it is anticipated that we will be occupying these sites for three to four academic years.

We are committed to ensuring a continuity of quality teaching and learning and maintaining Island School’s unique ethos during the decanting period. The detailed plans for the decant sites address three most vital issues – student wellbeing, ensuring the continued commitment to the top quality education of our students and maintaining the identity and ethos of Island School itself.

The refurbishment plans were drawn up in consultation with staff to ensure that all classrooms and learning environments have the facilities to deliver a quality education, considering everything from visual display screens in classrooms to storage spaces in the laboratories. This means we will significantly enhance the current teaching facilities to a level much higher than the current Island School building.

The move to two separate sites will mean we have to recruit more teaching and non-teaching staff. This will mean we can reduce class sizes in the lower years. We are currently calculating our staffing needs. To create a stable environment on both campuses, we aim to minimise staff movement between the two. Student wellbeing and academic success are our chief concerns when planning staffing for the temporary relocation period.

All the possible travel options are being considered and students and parents will be a part of the decision making process. The average travel time by car to each site from Central is around 25 minutes depending on the site and traffic. From Central Station, it is 30 minutes to Tai Wai Station and 38 minutes to Shatin Wai Station. Both sites are a few minutes walk from the MTR stations.

NB: This information may be subject to change if we encounter situations or decisions that are out of our control.

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