French International School plans green expansion

French International School plans green expansion

French International School is planning on expanding its existing Blue Pool Road school campus with a proposed extension nearby.

In its planning statement submitted as part of the section 16 planning application last month, the school said it was looking to build on a piece of government land immediately northwest of the existing secondary school campus on Blue Pool Road.

The proposed site, about 3,988 square metres (42,927 square feet) in size, straddles both a Government, Institution or Community zoning where school use is always permitted and a Green Belt zoning which requires planning approval.

View of the proposed French International School extension on completion in 2016 showing the vertical greening  (Town Planning Board)

View of the proposed French International School extension on completion in 2016 showing the vertical greening (Town Planning Board)

According to the planning statement, the design calls for a “…block of 8-storeys building in a terracing form that respects the existing topography of the man-made slope where the application site is located atop.”

Total gross floor area is about 9,000 square metres (96,876 square feet) with a plot ratio not exceeding 2.25.

The extension would provide an additional 600 international school places.

The school, which also has campuses in Sheung Wan, Jardine’s Lookout and Chai Wan, is looking to complete the extension by 2016.

It said expansion of its facilities was in line with government policy to support international schools.

“According to one of the foreign chambers of commerce, many multinational companies consider the shortage of international school places is an obstacle hindering overseas experts from coming to Hong Kong,” the planning statement said.

The statement pointed to official statistics that showed steady increases in foreigners coming to Hong Kong to work.

According to the Immigration Department’s 2011 annual report, a total of 30,557 employment visas were issued under the “General Employment Policy” compared with 26,881 in 2010 and 20,988 in 2009.

The statement said the existing site of the school was already smaller than that recommended by planning standards and the school cannot provide extra facilities such as swimming pools and auditorium unlike other international schools and conventional local schools.

As such the extension if approved and subsequently developed would have these extra facilities in addition to providing more classrooms and function rooms.

“An innovative green building design has also been adopted with an intention to foster an environmentally-friendly learning environment for future students,” the statement said.

These include vertical greening landscaping for the facades facing Blue Pool Road and Wong Nai Chung Gap Road, terrace gardens at different levels, landscaped roof-top gardens and green roof.

The statement said the expansion plan has received support from parents, residents, the district council as well as two nearby schools.

Danny Chung

 

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