Bridges: Joining our Past, Present, and Future

Bridges: Joining our Past, Present, and Future

October 28, 2016

One of the more visible developments in the Phase III construction project this past week has been the sudden appearance of five walkways or ‘bridges’ between new and existing buildings. We have four bridges connecting B Block with the new teaching and learning spaces at the northern end of the campus, and a single bridge linking the 4th floor of G Block with the new cultural and sporting center. These bridges form an important and very practical part of the ‘human’ dimension of these new structures, allowing students and teachers to move more easily and quickly between learning venues, without the use of elevators or stairs. They are also a sign of progress, announcing the growing ‘completeness’ of the physical structure of the two new buildings.

Beyond the prosaic and practical, it does not take too much imagination to perceive the metaphorical nature of these structures, connecting the past to the future, the old to the new. As a school with a relatively short history, it is nevertheless still important to remember that we do have a ‘history’, a past in which our appearance and location were not the same as they are today. The ISF community has grown enormously, in both scale and diversity, over the past 14 academic years; similarly, our learning environment has also increased in size. The bridges we are now constructing as a part of Phase III are also representative of the on-going need to build connections between where we are now and where we expect to be in the next decade. The bridges connect our present to a future of new dedicated learning spaces in the sciences and arts, spaces that hold the promise of learning experiences that are not possible at present. At the same time, the bridges connect us back to our founding ideas and ideals, which continue to inspire and resonate.

By an extraordinary coincidence, at the beginning of the next academic year, as we prepare to stage a formal opening ceremony for our new buildings, we will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of our move from Wanchai and Causeway Bay to Cyberport. A difficult undertaking in its own right at the time, the construction of the Kong Sin Wan Campus was not the end of our school-building work, but just the first step. Very like our young learners, the school has continued to grow and develop; when complete, it will double the size of the original Phase I facilities. In celebrating 10 years in Cyberport, we will also celebrate the growing track record of accomplishment arising from the unique learning undertaken in our school. The significant investment in the expansion and increasing sophistication of our physical learning environment is fully justified by the quality of learning outcomes.

Finally, we must keep in mind that the design and location of our ‘bridges’ should never be accidental or capricious: they serve a purpose that should arise from careful thought and planning. Our bridges, whether physical or metaphorical, should be chosen with strategic intent to support our educational mission as we work towards becoming who and what we aspire to be.

Dr. Malcolm Pritchard
Head of School

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