New RGS campus to be ready by end-2019

An artist's impression of Raffles Girls' School's new campus in Braddell Road, and the plot of land where the school will be built. The project's cost, previously reported to be $50 million, is being finalised. The school will have new learning space
An artist's impression of Raffles Girls' School's new campus in Braddell Road, and the plot of land where the school will be built. The project's cost, previously reported to be $50 million, is being finalised. The school will have new learning spaces that are "student- focused, environmentally friendly and inclusive of the community around us", said RGS principal Poh Mun See.PHOTO: RAFFLES GIRLS' SCHOOL WEBSITE
An artist’s impression of Raffles Girls’ School’s new campus in Braddell Road, and the plot of land where the school will be built. The project’s cost, previously reported to be $50 million, is being finalised. The school will have new learning spaces tha
An artist’s impression of Raffles Girls’ School’s new campus in Braddell Road, and the plot of land where the school will be built. The project’s cost, previously reported to be $50 million, is being finalised. The school will have new learning spaces that are “studentfocused, environmentally friendly and inclusive of the community around us”, said RGS principal Poh Mun See.PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

More time needed to work on design parameters; the new campus opposite RI will be bigger

The Raffles Girls' School's (RGS) new campus in Braddell Road will be ready by the end of 2019, barring unforeseen circumstances.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, RGS principal Poh Mun See said that the new 6ha campus, which is bigger than the school's current Anderson Road plot of about 4.5ha, "takes into account RGS' enrolment and provision of key programmes".

The school, which will be located opposite brother school Raffles Institution (RI) at the site of the former Braddell-Westlake Secondary School, will have new learning spaces that are "student-focused, environmentally friendly and inclusive of the community around us", said Mrs Poh.

This will include a performing arts centre for the school's arts programmes, and outdoor learning spaces where students "would be able to immerse in the flora and fauna around the campus".

Relocation of the 138-year-old school, which had been at its site off Stevens Road since 1959, were announced by Justice Judith Prakash, chairman of the RGS board of governors, in 2012.

The school had said that the existing campus, built for about 1,700 students, was no longer adequate, given that enrolment surpassed that figure. Its intake is now about 1,800. Being situated opposite RI will also provide for closer collaborations between the two schools.

It was previously reported that the Anderson Road site would be returned to the Singapore Land Authority and put out for other use after RGS moves out.

It was initially announced that the school would move to the new site next year but more time was needed to work on the school's design parameters, RGS had said.

The school said that the design of the new campus was unveiled to students and staff in February.

The cost of the project, previously reported to be $50 million, is also still being finalised, said Mrs Poh. It will be co-funded by RGS and the Ministry of Education, and the costs of non-standard facilities such as a student services hub will be fully borne by the school.

In February, RGS said that it will retain a 1979 glass mosaic mural that had been at the Braddell-Westlake Secondary. It depicts about 15 landmarks of Singapore, including the National Theatre which was torn down in 1986. It is planning to move the mural to the new campus' boundary fence, so that members of the public can view it.

RGS will "progressively engage" the school community on the new campus and relocation plans over the course of the project, said Mrs Poh.

Construction hoardings were already erected around the Braddell site when The Straits Times visited last week, and demolition works on the Braddell-Westlake buildings appear to have been completed.

RGS Secondary 1 student Alethea Tan, 13, said that she liked the "sleek" look of the new campus. While the school has coped with the current space crunch by putting her class in a container classroom, she said the new campus will be equipped with facilities for a bigger school population in the future. "It can be hard to find study space in the library now, but the new library looks like it will be more spacious."

A Sec 4 student at RGS, who declined to be named, said that as much as it will be convenient for the Raffles family of schools to come together in one place, she hopes that the move will not dilute RGS' "distinctive identity".

"I don't mind that I will have graduated by the time we move , because all our memories were made in this current school."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2017, with the headline 'New RGS campus to be ready by end-2019'. Print Edition | Subscribe