Bids invited to operate schools at five sites
Vacant centres and greenfield sites offered for use of non-profit international schools
Two vacant schools and three new sites are being offered for the development of non-profit international schools.
Bids are being invited for use of the sites as part of government measures to boost the number of international school places in Hong Kong. The Education Bureau estimates that the exercise could provide more than 3,300 extra places.
The vacant schools are in Ap Lei Chau and Tai Po, while the three undeveloped sites are in Tseung Kwan O and Tai Po. They are open to applications from non-profit-making international school operators in Hong Kong over the next two months. The deadline for bids is May 30.
The bigger and newer of the two vacant schools is the former premises of the Buddhist Hui Yuan College at No 6 Ma Chung Road, near Wan Tau Tong Estate, in Tai Po. It has 28 classrooms and 22 other rooms and covers 5,770 square metres. The college closed in 2009, and the building is about 19 years old.
The smaller and older property is the former premises of Ap Lei Chau St Peter's Catholic Primary School in Ap Lei Chau Estate. It covers 1,200 square metres, with 24 classrooms and eight other rooms. The building is 34 years old.
The bureau expects the successful applicants to be able to open in time for the 2015-16 school year.
The three greenfield sites include two in Tseung Kwan O of about 8,200 square metres and 6,950 square metres. The other, about 6,200 square metres, is close to the luxury residential development of Providence Bay near the Science Park in Tai Po. Applicants for these sites are expected to open in time for the 2018-19 school year.
"Subject to the response received, we will finalise the list of vacant premises or greenfield sites to be made available and proceed with [school allocation exercises] later this year," a bureau spokesman said.
The schools should be run on a self-financing basis and bidders are expected to fund any renovation and construction work required. Successful bidders will usually enjoy nominal rents or favourable land premiums.
They will have to allocate at least 70 per cent of the school places to foreign students or those holding foreign passports.
A government consultancy study based on the 2011-12 school year found there would be a shortfall of around 4,200 international primary places by 2016-17.