Unauthorised structures have forced Lingnan school to relocate
I refer to the letter by R. Wong ('No need to relocate school', July 28). The relocation of Lingnan Primary School, Kindergarten and Nursery is due to a number of reasons.
First of all, unauthorised building works, including an entire basement floor and alterations to stairs and exit routes, were found in the school premises. These works might affect the structural integrity, and 'the safety of pupils, teachers and other personnel at the premises is considered to be jeopardised', according to the registered engineer who conducted the site survey. Second, the old retaining wall on the slope behind the school requires reinforcement. Third, construction works on the former Lingnan college site adjacent to the school are expected to commence.
The Lingnan Education Organisation (LEO) was advised by the Education Bureau that the Buildings Department had conducted a site inspection in June. The LEO was told that while the focus of the inspection was primarily to identify unauthorised building works, a 'cursory review' of the buildings indicated they were in a stable condition. However, the bureau also advised that some unauthorised building works on site were noted by the department, and 'enforcement action would be taken according to the' department's enforcement policy which came into effect on April 1. The LEO has not been informed by the department that, despite the illegal structures in the school premises, the building is safe and suitable for the purpose of school premises under the Education Ordinance. The school would have no option but to demolish the unauthorised structures and restore the building to its original state.
In view of the situation, the school management committee and the LEO agreed that the kindergarten and nursery, as well as the primary school which is situated down a slope adjacent to the said building, and can only be accessible through it, should be relocated in the near future.
As preparations for the relocation will take some time, the date for relocation will be before the end of January 2012, taking advantage of the term break, before the rainy season starts.
The committee has secured a highly suitable site for the kindergarten and nursery in Siu Sai Wan. Discussions and negotiations on a few locations for the relocation of the primary school are taking place.
The committee has been in close contact with parents and will update them once the venue is confirmed.
K. K. Li, honorary secretary, Lingnan Education Organisation Limited