Secondary school to be built in Punggol to meet demand

A new secondary school will be built in Punggol to meet the demand in the young housing estate, bringing the total number of secondary schools in the area to four, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday.

An MOE spokesman confirmed that the school will be built in Punggol Central, after a report by Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao yesterday based on government tender documents.

The number of primary schools in Punggol will also increase to 11 in the next few years. These include two new ones in Northshore Link and Punggol Central, which the ministry first revealed in August.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, an MOE spokesman said the three new schools in Punggol will be built "to meet the localised demand from these residential areas".

There will also be a new primary school in Tampines North, which MOE first confirmed in February, although the ministry did not provide further details on the expected completion dates for the four schools.

The tender documents showed that the ministry had requested a quotation on Oct 6 for a "proposed new secondary school" to be built at the junction of Punggol Central and Punggol Way.

The document also said the proposed development, with an estimated gross floor area of 28,335 sq m, consists of two seven-storey blocks of classrooms, one three-storey canteen block and a multi-purpose hall. Construction work is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020.

All the blocks will be interconnected via a deck on the second storey and by link bridges on higher floors, said the document. The closing date to submit quotations is today.

Several secondary schools in mature housing estates have merged in recent years after being hit by falling student enrolments.

Eleven have merged with others in the last two years. These include Balestier Hill Secondary in Novena, which merged with Beatty Secondary; and Henderson Secondary in Bukit Merah, which merged with Bukit Merah Secondary this year.

The MOE spokesman said the ministry "regularly reviews the demand and supply trends at the national and local levels to ensure that there are sufficient school places to cater to demand".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2017, with the headline 'Secondary school to be built in Punggol to meet demand'. Print Edition | Subscribe