Mom Tri plans to open international school

KATA: Famed architect and developer ML Tridhosyuth Devakul has unveiled plans to establish a new International Baccalaureate (IB) school in Phuket.

Mom Tri, as he is widely known, was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for the Villas Grand Cru, a new residential project in the Kata Hills.

In 2001, Mom Tri founded the Prem Tinsulanonda International School (Prem Center) in Chiang Mai, an IB school with a student body of around 400.

Various sites are being looked at in Phuket for the school, which Mom Tri described as being “in the early stages” and subject to a feasibility study, although he did suggest that a 600-rai parcel of land near the Trisara resort in Cherng Talay is a likely contender.

Mom Tri said that when Dulwich International College – now the British Curriculum International School (BCIS) – was experiencing difficulties earlier this year, a number of parents of pupils approached him to suggest that he develop an IB school in Phuket along the lines of the Prem Center.

He said that negotiations are currently taking place with Pamela Kelly-Wetzell, the Director of Phuket’s Horizons Learning Center (HLC).

Speaking with the Gazette today, Mrs Wetzell confirmed that “active discussions” are taking place, and added that the results of the negotiations could involve a merger between HLC and the Prem Center, with current HLC pupils studying at the proposed school.

She explained that although they are very much on the drawing board, initial plans for the school – which could eventually see as many as 680 students studying there – include an “integrated community” with the school as the heart of the community, as well as a residential development, sports facilities and a library.

Mrs Wetzell said, “It is my plan to offer a full IB program and school, which means the [IB] Primary, Middle and Diploma Programmes for children from three to 18 years old.

“The IB is the cutting-edge international curriculum these days, and it’s also the one that’s in place at Mom Tri’s Prem Center in Chiang Mai, so I think it would be a good ‘fit’ for our two schools to get together in some way.

“These things are very fluid, but both parties are discussing possible development plans and designs for, hopefully, [construction to start] late next year,” she said.

Phuket News
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