by Chua Jun Yan (13A01A)
It’s official: Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary) will move to opposite RI in 2018, 133 years after the girls’ wing separated from RI to make way for the sons of the King of Siam. RGS will bid farewell to its current campus near Orchard, which it has occupied since Singapore achieved self-rule in 1959. The site is too small for its enrollment, and houses Year 1s in containers.
RGS will take over the site of the now-defunct Braddell-Westlake Secondary School, which cuts through a 12-meter canal. The move will cost $50 million. This comes 4 years after RGS turned down a merger with RI and Raffles Junior College (RJC).
The immediate response from RI boys was varied. When asked how it would have affected him if the move had happened during his time in RI, Year 4 student Lee Chin Wee replied: “It certainly would have brought both schools closer together, allowing us to get much closer to our future schoolmates”. While the official press release from RGS stated that the move would facilitate “synergy in collaborations between the two schools”, there has been much talk about a synergy of a different kind. Nonetheless, Year 5 RP student Naman Shah felt that “only the most desperate would resort to such underhanded measures”.
On a more serious note, however, Wang Ziren added, “I think that such an action [will] propel greater cooperation between the two schools among students. With the two schools situated closer together… It’ll be more feasible to pool together common knowledge to make organizing even bigger, and more meaningful events possible.”
As speculation raged, this correspondent took a tour of the new RGS site, where the Rafflesian Spirit will reside in 5 years’ time. The visit was made all the more foreboding by the fact that it took place during the Hungry Ghost Festival. Check out our exclusive photographs.