Renovation 'too expensive'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 May, 2010, 12:00am

Legislators have called on the Christian Zheng Sheng College to consider renovating their current premises rather than move to Mui Wo, but the school last week rejected the proposal. It said it would be difficult and too expensive to renovate.

The Christian Zheng Sheng Association, the school's sponsoring body, first submitted its application to move to Mui Wo in 2006. Mui Wo residents want the site to be used for a school for local children.

The drug rehabilitation school had been investigated by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Last month, the ICAC cleared it of malpractice allegations.

Christian Zheng Sheng's two classrooms in Ha Keng should cater to only 30 students, but currently house 118.

The college's application for a drug rehab centre licence was rejected in 2002 because of violations of fire safety and hygiene regulations. But it was given an exemption for eight years by the Social Welfare Department so it could continue its work. The exemption ends in September, making a solution urgent.

Referring to the government suggestion that it renovate rather than relocate, the association pointed to a septic tank that it had to build to meet hygiene standards. It said it would need to build a duct that went all the way to the sea, costing hundreds of millions of dollars. 'If the government is willing to pay for all that, then we will go ahead with renovation,' said the association's chief executive, Jacob Lam Hay-sing.