GEORGE TOWN - The Prince of Wales Island International School, to be built within the Botanica. CT garden township in Balik Pulau here, will take in its first batch of students in September next year.
Costing RM95 million (S$40 million), the school will start its enrolment in September.
MTT & Priority Group of Companies group executive chairman Datuk Kenny Ong said the school hoped to register about 140 students for a start.
He said there would be places for local students as well as those from abroad, especially Asian countries.
He said MTT had established the MTT Learning Academy Sdn Bhd as a subsidiary, to own, manage and operate the school.
"We expect to begin operation by the third quarter of next year, pending proper compliance with the relevant rules and regulations.
"Our main aim is to provide a balanced education, not only academically, but also in terms of fundamental life qualities with the aim to develop students into complete and wholesome individuals," he said at the groundbreaking yesterday.
Present was the British High Commissioner Boyd McCleary.
At the event, Ong's mother, Datin Looi Woon Yin, also planted a tree -- "Tree of Wisdom" -- to symbolise the birth of a new beginning.
Ong said the school would have a low teacher-student ratio of one teacher to a maximum of 25 students.
It will offer Year Seven to Year 13 British curriculum programmes for students aged 12 to 18 by experienced teachers, a majority of whom will be from the United Kingdom.
To be located on a 2.8ha site with 40.6 per cent open areas, the school with full boarding facilities, will be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that can cater for up to 800 students.
There are air-conditioned classrooms and tutorial rooms, specialised science laboratories, specialised workshops, a cafeteria, a multipurpose hall, a library, a drama and music hall, a natural acoustic concert auditorium and low density air-conditioned boarding homes.
There will also be a wide range of outdoor facilities, including a football field, a courtyard with netball courts, tennis courts, a swimming pool and changing rooms.
Ong said the school was given the name Prince of Wales Island International School to revive a part of Penang's heritage by using its historical name.
Penang is currently home to several international schools, including the International School of Penang (commonly known as Uplands School), St Christopher's International Primary School, Fairview International School, Tenby International School and Dalat International School, which are all located in its north-east district.
McCleary said MTT's intention to establish an international school was a noble one.
MTT, a Penang-based property developer which is building the 120-ha Botanica. CT garden, will launch phase three of the project in March, consisting of terrace and semi-detached homes, located just behind the school.
The school is the first non-residential phase within the township.