BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Students at Sultan Hassan Secondary School will finally get a brand new building after years of using portable cabins as classrooms.

The Ministry of Education held a foundation laying ceremony for the new school on Saturday, which will be moved from its current location in Bangar to a 15.41-acre site in Batu Apoi.

A central block at the Bangar school was deemed structurally unsafe some time ago, forcing students and faculty to use portable cabins for many years while officials debated whether to move the school to a new location.

Construction costs and the difficulty of transporting materials to Temburong further complicated the issue, until the SOAS Bridge opened in March 2020┬áconnecting Brunei’s most remote district with the capital.

In a statement, the education ministry said the new site will be equipped with facilities that include classrooms, science labs, a library, surau, multi-purpose hall, dining hall, canteen and administration block. A running track and football field will also be built.

Funding for the $16.3 million building will come under the 11th National Development Plan.

The Public Works Department has been entrusted to manage the project, while LCY Development has been awarded the contract to build the new school.

Established in 1962, Sultan Hassan Secondary School has 81 teaching staff with a total of 675 students. It is the only secondary school in a district of 10,000 people.

There are no colleges or vocational schools in Temburong and students who pursue higher education usually move to Brunei-Muara district.