Campus Development Update: 1 August 2014
In addition to numerous maintenance tasks completed over the summer break, the school made significant progress in achieving its overall campus development goals. Several major projects that had been planned for years were completed, including shading for the parking lot and swimming pool, and the completion of The Hub, the newest purpose-built building adjacent to the Secondary Building. Designed with flexible work and social spaces in mind, The Hub’s final look was even more striking than the initial renderings.
Its most unique feature is the lounge that occupies the entire third floor. Complete with a coffee bar, staff area and expansive views of the sports field, the lounge represents the significant roles collaborative learning and social interaction play in any successful learning community. Immediately above it is a multipurpose exam hall with expandable walls. Featuring multiple possible layouts, it can serve as a facility for a large event or be broken into smaller classroom spaces. Though the fifth floor–a gymnasium–is not yet complete, it will be ready for use by the third or fourth week of school.
Renovation of Buildings 2 & 3 commenced as anticipated, with a safety fence installed to limit access during the school year. The closing of the buildings meant the shift of the Design Technology Centre to the ground floor of the CAB, and a more open workspace that highlights the importance of design skills in modern learning. Moving from that space, the nearly-complete Secondary Library now occupies the ground floor of the Secondary Building. Featuring improvements such as movable shelves, open work areas and an IT help desk, it reflects the roles of collaboration and technology in modern libraries.
As the campus development projects continue throughout the school year, safety will continue to be one of our community’s priorities. In addition to the enhanced security procedures for all visitors and workers, the security office near the entrance and CCTV system have been updated to ensure that we are able to maintain a secure environment. A second entrance on the opposite side of the parking lot has also been created to limit traffic near the construction zone. This will ensure that students, staff and parents remain as safe as possible as construction continues.
Over the past 12 years, NIST International School has been carrying out its strategic campus development plan, both refurbishing the older buildings and developing new facilities. These positive changes have led to NIST becoming the most expansive, progressive school campus in central Bangkok. The support of the entire NIST community has been invaluable in this process, and we are excited to provide the first of several major updates detailing the current status of the project.
Aligned with NIST’s long-term vision and objectives, the current development plan will ultimately better benefit students and ensure that the school reaffirms its status as one of the top schools in Asia. We further aim to parallel upcoming academic developments that will position NIST as one of the foremost learning institutions in the world.
Currently, construction on the final part of Phase I, the multi-purpose hall called The Hub, is ongoing and will be completed by the end of the 2013-2014 school year. The first of its kind in Thailand, the building’s innovative design reflects the research-based understanding of learning. Whereas traditional classrooms follow a static, structured pattern, The Hub embraces the flexibility and social aspects identified as central to modern education.
In addition to two floors of purpose-built classrooms, The Hub will include a multi-purpose hall that can be used for examinations or other events, physical education facilities, and a lounge for both staff and students. The lounge area, which will also extend the services offered by NIST Catering, will allow students and staff to interact with one another and enhance learning opportunities. The Hub will be completed in June, 2014 and will be fully ready for the 2014-2015 school year.
The Future: NIST as a Global Education Hub
The Hub represents only the first step in NIST’s evolution as we strive to develop the school into an education center for Southeast Asia. Our ultimate goal is to serve as a model of learning at all levels and produce informed, engaged citizens who make a positive difference in the world. Following the completion of The Hub, NIST will continue to improve its facilities with the aim of creating the most modern, expansive campus in Thailand.
Each stage of the development plan has been aligned to additional initiatives to improve student learning, and expand both the curriculum, extra-curricular activities and campus resources.
- Phase II A – Summer 2014: As part of the movement of facilities over the summer, we plan to turn the ground floor of the CAB over to our design program, meaning all classes and equipment will be re-positioned there for the start of the next school year. This will also require that our library move, and we plan to split this so that the secondary library will be housed on the ground floor of the Secondary Building. The elementary library will temporarily move to Building 1. while a brand new elementary library is prepared on the ground floor of Building 3. We are also exploring a number of options for creating a more expansive gymnastics center. [ADMIN: Due to the careful preparation of our staff, we have been able to accelerate this and begin this phase as of the April break.]
- Phase II B – Buildings 2 & 3 Refurbishment: While the original development plan had included the proposal of demolishing the original buildings, NIST currently plans to carry out both soft and hard renovations as an alternative. Placing priority on refurbishment of existing facilities over the next two years will allow the school to complete the full development plan more rapidly and retain key campus features such as The Oval. By using the current elementary facilities as a model, we can also ensure that the quality of our programs and facilities remains high. By opting to renovate rather in the later phases, the NIST community will not need to contend with lengthy construction, and will benefit from the new facilities earlier than originally anticipated.
- Phases III & IV – Building 1 Refurbishment and Car Park & Major Landscaping: As Phase II begins, NIST will assess the timeline for subsequent initiatives, including the construction of the car park in order to ease congestion around the school and welcome more members of the community to the school on a regular basis. In line with GreeNIST and other environmental initiatives, landscaping and playground improvements will also take place to create a vibrant, eco-friendly campus in the heart of Bangkok’s urban jungle. These improvements will further enhance the quality of learning NIST offers to the greater community, placing it at the forefront of modern education.
As the campus development project progresses, we will continue to provide updates and we welcome feedback from the community. Only a little over two decades ago, our school was established with the vision of the United Nations in mind: the promotion of international cooperation, peace and social progress. Looking back at the years that followed, we’re profoundly thankful to the people who have played a role in building a community and facilities that embody that vision, and we look forward to your continued support as we take the first steps into a new era for NIST International School.
Previous Development Updates
Phase II A Update (25 April 2014): With the acceleration of the development plan, beginning with the moves of several key offices over the Songkran break, we’re happy to announce that work has already begun on several of the 2014 summer projects. These include the Design Technology Centre and plans for the new Secondary Library, both of which are intended to advance one of NIST’s primary aims in effectively integrating technology and modern learning approaches into the educational opportunities we provide to the community.
The shift of the Design Technology Centre from Building 1 into the Creative Arts Building (CAB) will enable us to bring all creative and technical arts programmes under a single roof. Design technology as a field of study focuses on innovation and development in several areas, including engineering, design and manufacturing. These subjects often require highly specific skill sets and knowledge, and conceptually demand creative thinking. By applying NIST’s unique IB philosophy to design technology, students benefit from an inquiry-based approach that requires them to identify challenges, generate solutions and work with others in applying them. We also aim to showcase the resources and techniques that make design technology such an exciting, dynamic field that will increasingly offer NIST graduates the chance to move on to even greater opportunities in university and beyond.
Similarly, plans for the new Secondary Library focus on the shifting needs of students in the 21st century. Unlike the collection-based libraries of the past, the NIST libraries will not serve only as locations for physical books, but also as centers of information exchange and dialogue in digital forms. Using evidence-based approaches, our libraries will be hubs in the school, staffed by librarians and digital coaches who help students and peers find, assess and share ideas, in line with the findings of organizations such as the Council on Library and Information Resources. (Read more about the changing face of libraries at the CLIR website.)
In addition to traditional resources and printed materials, the new Secondary Library will even include a tech support centre to support the 1-to-1 technology programme that provides NIST students and staff with mobile devices. This will enable our community to receive further support in effectively integrating technology into the learning process. By combining all of these elements within the context of the NIST philosophy, we hope to offer our students a truly unique environment that can effectively support their classroom learning and enable them to develop skills in technology that further distinguish them from their peers. You can look forward to the launch of both the Design Technology Centre and Secondary Library in August 2014!
- 8th Project progress update (6 January 2014)
- 7th Project progress update (8-19 August 2013)
- 6th Project progress update (30 July-7 August 2013)
- 5th Project progress update (24-29 July 2013)
- 4th Project progress update (13-23 July 2013)
- 3rd Project progress update (6-12 July 2013)
- 2nd Project progress update (1-5 July 2013)
- 1st Project progress update (20-30 June 2013)