Three options to be offered for Central School

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 February, 2008, 12:00am

Three options for revitalising the historic Central School site in Hollywood Road will be put forward for a three-month public consultation.

But district councillors and pressure groups have urged the government to clarify whether the site will be taken off its for-sale list and residential and commercial development will be banned.

Remnants of the Central School were found at the police married quarters in Hollywood Road. Well-known figures like Sun Yat-sen were educated at the school when it was in Gough Street. The school moved to Hollywood Road in 1889.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said in last year's policy address that the site would be removed from the for-sale list for a year.

The Development Bureau said in a paper submitted to the Legislative Council that a three-month public consultation exercise would be launched to gather proposals to revitalise the site. The paper also outlines the criteria for revitalising the site.

Under those criteria, the historic relics on the site - including retaining walls, unique trees and granite steps, plinths and pillars - will be preserved. The site should become a landmark, contributing to the plan for the area.

The revitalisation should also address the community's concerns about development intensity, building height, and the demand for open space and community facilities.

The Junior Police Call Club House will be refurbished for use as a museum about the Central School and the early history of education in the city.

There are three options for the two police quarters blocks: retain both, demolish both or demolish the lower one for design flexibility.

Central and Western District councillor Kam Nai-wai said the government should clarify whether the site would be taken off the land application list before discussing the quarters' future.

He said land-use planning should be considered as part of a bigger scheme that saw Central as a historic district.

Central and Western Concern Group spokeswoman Katty Law Ngar-ning said the public should have a say in how much of the school remains would be preserved.

She disagreed with an Antiquities and Monuments Office report that favoured keeping only a small part.