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From Old to New: Revitalise Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station Staff Quarters Compound into Eco School Campus and Conservation Gallery
Lifewire and The Harbour School Join Hands for the “e.a.r.t.h. Project”
(Hong Kong, 15 Jun, 2022) - Lifewire and The Harbour School join hands to honour Hong Kong’s cultural history with the ‘e.a.r.t.h. Project’, breathing new life to the century-old Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station Staff Quarters Compound monuments. The site will be re-imagined as an early years campus for The Harbour School (THS), a K to Grade 12 international school well known for its world-class marine science program and inclusive ethos. Named the Earth Campus, it will provide approximately 150 places for children aged 3-8 (from PN - K3 initially) with an average of eight to one student-teacher ratio. With its proximity to the Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail featuring Hong Kong’s rich waterworks, architectural and engineering history, the Earth Campus will also serve as an open space for education, leisure and cultural activities for the public, including guided tours, nature-related activities, wellbeing programmes, arts and music events. A Water Gallery displaying the history of the water supply in Hong Kong and the historical significance of the monuments, a new Annex with viewing platform at the roof to allow public to appreciate the front façade of the Pumping Station, the waterfront and nearby environment and social activity cum display areas will be set up for the public.
As a highlight of the Batch VI of Revitalisation Scheme from the HKSAR Government, the e.a.r.t.h. project is expected to be completed in 2028. The campus design will take into account the principle of “minimum intervention” and “reversibility” to preserve all characters defining elements of the monuments. Guided tours will be provided to educate the public about the architectural history of the Tai Tam Tuk area, as well as the revitalisation process of the monuments and their surrounding areas. Efforts will be made to collaborate with the community and like-minded NGOs to provide job opportunities for those in the underprivileged families, including at-risk youths.
Lifewire is a registered charitable institution with a vision to empower those in need in the society and child patients with rare diseases and their families through supporting education and its future development. Its partner, THS, is an international school with forward-looking values and provides differentiated instruction for mainstream and neuro-diverse students. It is internationally recognised for its high-quality, award-winning experiential learning programs, and was named Best International School in Hong Kong Living’s Education Awards 2021 for its outstanding social studies curriculum and technology program. At the International School Awards 2022, THS won for its marine science program and was also a Merit Winner in the Green Council’s first Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Achievement Awards.
Ms. Rita Pang, Director of Lifewire Foundation Limited and Founder of See Change Education, said: “We feel very grateful to have this opportunity to reimagine the e.a.r.t.h. Project together with support from the government and the community including the Tai Tam Tuk Village Residents Fraternity Association, Tai Tam Tuk Dragon Boat Association, Scout Association of Hong Kong, etc. We are excited to work with education visionaries at the THS to set the platinum standard for inclusive schools in the future. Earth Campus will not only provide students with a unique environment for experiential learning that is rare in Hong Kong, but also serves as a scenic hub for the community to develop an appreciation for culture, history and heritage conservation.”
Dr. Jadis Blurton, Head of School of THS, said: "We are honoured and grateful to be working with Lifewire, the government and the community on this project of immense importance to Hong Kong’s cultural history. The Earth Campus’s waterside location provides an ideal setting for our award-winning marine science and social studies programs which are experiential, interdisciplinary, active and hands-on. THS welcomes diversity in our student body and has been delivering innovative approaches to learning since 2007 that benefits a wide range of learner abilities and puts the joy back into learning and school. We are also excited by the opportunity to design activities to share with and educate interested members of the public about this site’s fascinating architecture, ecology, and heritage.”
Ms. Carolyn Campbell, Parent of THS, said “The Harbour School’s inclusive ethos and individualised education meant that all three of my children are able to go to the same school, including my child with additional learning needs who otherwise would not be able to access the local state curriculum. The Earth campus will enable access to high-quality education for all types of learners.”
‘e.a.r.t.h.’ represents ‘eco’, ‘art & culture’, ‘revitalisation’, ‘technology’ and ‘heritage’, and it broadly captures the goals of the project to revitalise the Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station Staff Quarters Compound site using green construction with an emphasis on preserving heritage, conserving ecology, and promoting art, science and culture. The site includes extensive grounds which will provide nature-based and outdoor educational opportunities for its students. Alongside the school campus, we will establish a Water Gallery to promote the Tanka Boat Culture and the history of Hong Kong’s waterworks. Bringing together the beauty of nature and education, our plan shall include guided eco-tours, mangrove planting, nature walks, wellness events, and other family-friendly leisure activities to encourage public participation and appreciation of the area and the Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail.
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Photo (left) & artist’s impression 1 (right): The existing Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station Staff Quarters (left) will be revitalised into a school building for the Earth Campus (right).
Artist’s Impression 2: The "e.a.r.t.h. Project" will breathe new life to the century-old declared momuments “Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station Staff Quarters Compound” including Senior Staff Quarters at the right, No.2 Staff Quarters at the left and Staff Quarters at the second left and proposed new Annex (viewing platform at the roof to allow public to appreciate the front façade of the Pumping Station, the waterfront and nearby environment and social activity cum display areas for public). The Raw Water Pumping Station which is still in use by Water Supplies Department is in the middle.
Diagram: The "e.a.r.t.h. Project" will integrate the five monuments of the Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail in the red circle with other monuments along the Trail, so that visitors can fully embrace the history of Tai Tam waterworks in Hong Kong through all the 21 monuments. (Image source: Water Supplies Department)
Lifewire (www.lifewire.hk) is a registered charitable institution founded in 2014. It is committed to bringing together corporates, chambers of commerce, organisations, and volunteer teams from all walks of life to help rare disease child patients and their families with medical and daily expenses, providing support and counselling, and spreading awareness about rare diseases to the society. Since its establishment, Lifewire has raised over HK$18 million for over 600 families. Its mission also encompasses life education, as Lifewire regularly visits campus to share the life stories of children who suffer from rare diseases, hoping to empower and encourage those children with rare diseases and inspire students to learn from them.
About The Harbour School
The Harbour School (THS) is an K to Grade 12 international school that aims to unlock the best in every student by taking a highly individual approach to teaching. The school was founded in 2007 and is already gaining a worldwide reputation as a center of excellence. It applies international best practice in adapting US curriculum with an emphasis on 21st century skills such as problem-solving, communication, teamwork, creativity and innovation. THS was named Best International School in Hong Kong Living’s Education Awards 2021 where it also won awards for outstanding social studies curriculum and technology program. At the International School Awards 2022, THS won for its marine science program and was also a Merit Winner in the Green Council’s first Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Achievement Awards. For more information, please visit: www.ths.edu.hk
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