‘Old School’ work to go ahead despite campaign

The authorities have said that it is not possible to conserve every former school in Singapore, despite a Facebook campaign to “Save Old School” started by some alumni of Methodist Girls’ School, after plans were announced for the redevelopment of Old School@Mount Sophia.

The area, a former school campus, is now an arts enclave, with a cluster of six buildings. It was earlier announced that the site had been marked for residential development.

With their lease ending next June, arts groups now using the campus have also expressed concerns that they would not be able to find another affordable venue at which to ply their craft, as most of them say they run on very little funding.

Responding to queries from Channel NewsAsia, a Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) spokesperson said: “URA notes the feedback and will reply to the SOS (Save Old School) representatives … While the government is committed to retain as much of our built heritage as possible, we need to balance this against other needs, such as housing for our people … Schools will always hold special memories for alumni, but it is not possible for us to conserve every former school. For now, only this building built in 1928 will be preserved.”

But that is not enough to placate some.

“The whole environment and setting has lots of historical merit, not just one building. And if you put a single building in a residential development, it doesn’t allow for public access,” said Carol Tham, founder of “Save Old School”, and Methodist Girls’ School Alumni.

Source : Today – 8 Nov 2011

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