On October 24, 2019, the American International School of Guangzhou (AISG) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on its Science Park campus. The groundbreaking ceremony, attended by parents, students, board members, government officials, strategic partners, and media organizations, heralds the official launch of AISG’s Master Facilities Plan project.
The groundbreaking ceremony included a special student performance and remarks from AISG’s new Director, Mr. Kevin Baker. U.S. Consul General Jim Levy and Deputy Director General of Guangzhou Education Bureau, Mr. Hua Shanying also delivered speeches during the event.
The Master Facilities Plan is one of the largest projects in AISG’s 38-year history and is expected to play a valuable role in contributing to the region’s Greater Bay Area Development project.
AISG’s new campuses will form a place that inspires students, teachers, and staff to be their best —a hub of dynamic, compassionate, and connected learning where future-ready learning reigns supreme.
AISG embarked on the master planning process with one simple overarching concept in mind: to create learning spaces that would facilitate nurturing future-ready skills and dispositions in students.
Once completed, the school will gain significant additional learning and teaching spaces for students and faculty within the existing site. New library and dining facilities will also be created. For the first time, Elementary School students will share the same site with the Middle and High School.
AISG’s Science Park campus currently sites on a hillside site area of almost 30,000 sqm, allowing for an expansion of the school’s current recreational amenities to include an indoor running track, three sports fields, a tennis court, a 25m pool plus rooftop play space. In addition, a designated underground parking area with vehicle charging points will be built within the site for parents, guests and school events.
The school has partnered with global architecture and design firm, Perkins and Will, to help develop its new school environment. Perkins and Will are consistently ranked as one of the world’s leading design practices in the design of innovative educational spaces.
Perkins and Will’s Design Principal, Paul Rice noted “the AISG Science Park campus project is a transformation of the existing facility that aims to retain much of the existing building but re-orientate both the internal and external spaces to allow for contemporary approaches to education. Perkins and Will’s own design philosophy of innovation, collaboration and sustainability are cornerstones of this unique design.”
AISG’s master facilities design seeks to engage students by incorporating interdisciplinary, personalized, and hands-on approaches to learning as a fundamental part of the design.
AISG’s Director, Kevin Baker, notes “Flexible spaces will enable an environment where the teacher becomes an orchestrator and facilitator for student learning.”
“Student-centred learning means learners choose not only what to study but also how and why. At the heart of our new campus redesign are learner responsibility and activity. This is in contrast to more traditional models of education which sees the emphasis on instructor control in conventional, didactic teaching. We want more than this for our students. AISG’s new and modern spaces will allow students to engage in self-directed and group learning in many areas of the campus at any time.”
Connectivity will also form an integral part of the new campus design.
Kevin Baker says, “We intend to integrate tools and platforms into all spaces to provide ubiquitous network access to make education at AISG salient today and robust enough for tomorrow.”
“We’re excited to be building an elegant, sustainable and practical school that seamlessly connects all the functional needs of our campus as one.”
Sustainable design features include natural ventilation of key spaces, covered pedestrian walkways and collection of rainwater run-off with extensive shading of glazed façades. Natural and locally-sourced materials dominate the selection of internal and façade materials.
The design also includes a number of environmentally-friendly features including solar-heated water and solar panels generating electricity and sustainable irrigation systems.
Construction is already underway with construction set to continue until SY2022. Following the completion of the Science Park campus rebuild, internal renovations at Er Sha Campus will then take place from SY2021-2023.