KATA: Architect and developer ML Tridhosyuth “Mom Tri” Devakul, says that a study into the feasibility of building a new private school in Phuket should be complete in about two months.
Mom Tri, owner of Mom Tri’s Boathouse, the hotel in Kata, and developer of top-end projects such as the Trisara resort and the Baan Kata residential development, is also the owner of the Prem Tinsulanonda International School (Prem Center) in Chiang Mai.
While on a visit to Phuket on February 16 with Prem Center school administrators, he told the Gazette that if the decision is made to go ahead with the proposed school in Phuket, the project will be done in tandem with a residential development.
Speaking at his Villa Royale project in Kata, Mom Tri said, “In terms of education it’s certainly worth it to establish an IB [International Baccalaureate] school.
“But we have to look at this from a business standpoint as well, and consider the return on investment.”
It cost about 1 billion baht to build the Prem Center in Chiang Mai, which was not developed as part of a real estate project, he added. That school, established in 2001, now has a student body of 400.
“It’s similar to developing a golf club. Green fees alone may not be enough to cover the entire cost, so a real estate project is established along with it,” he said.
The feasibility study is looking at the pros and cons of building a school and residential project on 600 rai of land Mom Tri owns near Trisara.
“If the feasibility study determines that the project is viable, we will move forward by talking to all relevant parties, including seeking bank funding. We would certainly use the Prem name for the new school in Phuket,” he said.
Initially, the Phuket school would be for students from kindergarten age through to 12 or 13 years old, he added.
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