Monday, January 25, 2010

Serangoon Gardens site to be used for arts, sports

ARTS studios and sports facilities will occupy three buildings at the site next to the workers’ dormitory in Serangoon Gardens.

The blocks were originally meant to form a buffer zone between the dormitory and the estate’s residential areas, to ease residents’ concerns about the workers living there.

The buildings are part of the former Serangoon Gardens Technical School along Burghley Drive.

Now, the Singapore Land Authority is tendering the blocks out on its website for use as arts, dance or drama studios and schools, or interim facilities for sports such as tennis, squash or badminton.

The blocks, with a gross floor area of 1,935 sq m, will be rented out at $14,500 a month for two years.

The website of Aljunied GRC, which administers the estate, also carried an announcement about the upcoming tender, which is expected to open later this month or next.

The tender results will be announced by April or May, according to the website.

Aljunied GRC MP Lim Hwee Hua said on Saturday that the area had already been zoned for use as a school, so it was feasible to use the site as an arts and drama studio or sports facility.

She made the remarks on the sidelines of a community programme to encourage more women to go for breast cancer screening.

Estate residents welcomed the prospective use of the buildings.

Mr John Leow, 69, who chaired a residents’ committee on the dormitory issue, said he was not worried about the buildings’ proximity to the dormitory because they could not be accessed from the dormitory.

‘Arts or sports facilities will enrich the community,’ he said.

When the workers’ dormitory, now called the Central Staff Apartments, was proposed in 2008, upset residents voiced concerns about security, safety and traffic congestion.

The dormitory now houses more than 100 workers from China, India, Malaysia and Bangladesh. The number will rise to 600 by mid-year.

Mrs Lim noted there had been no issues with the workers since they moved into the buildings last month.

Source: Straits Times, 25 Jan 2010

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