School told its site safe so no need to move

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 October, 2011, 12:00am


A Wan Chai school does not need to move because it is structurally sound, the Education Bureau says.

Privately run Lingnan Primary School informed parents in June the school in Stubbs Road would move to new premises at the end of January.

The school said unauthorised works in the kindergarten building had made the current premises unsafe. Parents responded by saying it was too soon for them to make arrangements for the 700 or so primary and preschool pupils to go to school elsewhere.

In a letter sent to parents and the teacher's association early this week, the bureau said the Stubbs Road premises were safe for now.

'It is our opinion that [Lingnan Educational Organisation Ltd's] decision to relocate the school should not be associated with the structural safety of the school buildings or matters requiring any enforcement action under the Buildings Ordinance,' it said. 'We have requested LEO to consider allowing all pupils to complete their schooling for the 2011-12 school year in the present premises.'

The school and its governing body declined requests for comment.

The Former Lingnan College Development Concern Group said many parents disputed the need to relocate so quickly.

'They didn't even have a plan [when they informed us of the move],' said Marble Ma, a representative of the group. The school has found premises for the kindergarten and nursery, but has yet to find a suitable spot for the primary school.

The group did not think maintenance of the slope on which the school is built and the planned construction by Sun Hung Kai Properties nearby were posing a danger.

But they would meet representatives of SHKP to discuss arrangements for the development.

'We not only want enough time, but for LEO to give us the actual reason for the move,' said Ma, saying they would like to know if any plans for redevelopment were in the works.

The parcel of land immediately adjacent to the property was bought, in a government auction, by Sun Hung Kai Properties for HK$4.49 billion this year.

Government records show the LEO owns two lots on Stubbs Road, which are zoned for government, institution or community use. Neither the Lands Department nor the Planning Department has received any applications to modify the sites.

The Education Bureau added: 'We have reminded LEO of its nature as a non-profit-making organisation founded by education enthusiasts and its long history of school operation in Hong Kong.'