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A New Middle School Building

Hong Kong International School’s New Middle School Building is Dedicated

Thursday, January 21, 2010 will go down in Hong Kong International School’s (HKIS) history as "Dedication Day" for our new Middle School building.  Used by students for the first time in August 2009, the new eight-story building has increased the number of classrooms in our Middle School by 15, and houses state-of-the-art conference and meeting rooms.  

At the end of December 2009, the BEAM Society, which is the founder and owner of the Building Environmental Assessment Method in Hong Kong, certified the building with a Platinum Standard.

David Brown, Head of Building and Energy Efficiency for the Business Environmental Council presented HKIS with its Platinum certificate from the BEAM Society for the environmentally sustainable design and construction of the building at the ceremony. HKIS is proud to be the first recipients of the coveted BEAM Platinum Standard awarded to a R1-12 school building in Hong Kong. 

The new building is an important part of ongoing expansion and improvement work at both HKIS campuses. This work will ensure our educational goals are achievable as we continue to strive toward ever-higher levels of excellence. For generations to come, this building will be an important place of learning, creativity and growth for our students as they prepare for life beyond the classroom.

At the ceremony, we welcomed the Honorable Henry Tang, Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong, to officiate at the Dedication. He was joined by Christopher J. Marut, Acting U.S. Consul General, United States Consulate General Hong Kong; Richard Vuylsteke, President, American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. HKIS Board and Administration members also officiated at the ribbon cutting ceremony. 

HKIS has been blessed, growing in just under four and a half decades from one building and 630 students at its Repulse Bay campus, to four buildings on two campuses, with 2,640 students. Many alumni bear testament to this growth. The new Middle School building is the latest chapter in this development.

At the Dedication, veteran Middle School teacher cum poet Peter Dratz shared through a poem his reflections on the growth of HKIS over the years.

Peter Dratz sharing his poem

Poem by Peter Dratz…
Today is our day
We’ve grown a new wing
We are off and away.”

Two decades ago
Tai Tam was the jewel
where our board decided
to build a new school

Back then our neighbors
were mostly all wild
There were long legged spiders
as big as a child.

There were boars in the jungle,
lots of squirrels and mice
And a long Burmese Python
Who was really quite nice.

The high school came first
With a pool and a plaza
But we never imagined
That there’d be a Ritazza.

We could see Tai Tam village
And Dragon Boat races
We could hear campers camping
But we couldn’t see faces

“We have brains in our heads.
We have feet in our shoes.
We can steer ourselves
any direction we choose.

We’re out our own. And
we know what we’ll know.
And WE are the guys
who’ll decide where to go.”

The foundation was dug
and the pants were a saggin’
The middle school rose
in the air like a dragon.

The connection was seamless
Two behemoths, one
The bridge was a playground
Potentially fun.

“It’s finished!” we cheered.
Our school has been built
But we must have been feeling
Some great pangs of guilt.

For in just a few years
We were building again
More classrooms and offices
Would it never end?

We needed more space
We were getting too crowded
So we added more floors
And again we applauded

Our beautiful sports ground
Where we played and we raced
In the grass, mud, and rain
was removed and replaced
by a shimmering carpet
of pellets and plastic
which turned out to be
nothing short of fantastic.

Now today we are gathered
To embrace a new wing
A communion of learners
All ready to sing.

Oh, the places we’ll go
And the people we’ll see
The world is our classroom
“Imagine”....the Key! “

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Source:  DragonTales Volume 13 Summer Edition 2010