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Sunday, 7 May 2017

(The Star) Building works for first American boarding school to start next month

GELANG PATAH: Building works for the first American boarding school in Forest City will commence next month.

Spanning 9.39ha, the Shattuck-St Mary’s School (SSM) Forest City is expected to receive its first batch of students by August next year, said its principal Graham Gamble.

In a press briefing here yesterday, Gamble said the first phase of the project will see the construction of lecture halls, multi-purpose halls, dormitories, an art centre as well as a playground over 4ha at an expected cost of RM380mil.

“We target an enrolment of around 150 students at the start of the first term.

“And this figure is expected to eventually grow to 500 by the time the second phase begins,” said Gam­ble.

“When the entire project is completed, we will be able to accom­modate more than 3,000 students aged between three and 18 years old.”

He added that the school would likely offer the Advanced Placement (AP) programme similar to the approach taken at SSM, which was established at Faribault, Minnesota, in 1858.

AP is a programme in the United States and Canada created by the College Board, which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students.

Students who do well in the examinations are also expected to be granted placements and course credits in American colleges and universities.

“The AP programme will also probably set us apart from Malbo­rough College Malaysia, which is another international school loca­ted within Iskandar Malaysia,” he said.

“I am aware of several other independent schools in the region, but I believe that we all have distinctive approaches which will ap­­peal to parents when it comes to choosing the right school for their kids.”

Gamble also noted that the school here will cater not only to residents of Forest City, but also for those from around the region, including outside of Malaysia.

“We will also be looking at re­­cruiting tea­chers from around the world, mainly from the United States, the United Kingdom, Aus­tra­lia, Canada and several other countries for linguistics,” he added.