on 2 June 1999
ITEM FOR PUBLIC WORKS SUBCOMMITTEE
OF FINANCE COMMITTEE
|HEAD 708 -||CAPITAL SUBVENTIONS AND MAJOR SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT
|25EC - ||Provision of air-conditioning in special schools for physically and severely mentally handicapped children
Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the approval of a new commitment of $65.01 million in money-of-the-day prices for the provision of air-conditioning in 17 special schools for physically and severely mentally handicapped children.
The classrooms and special rooms of special schools for physically and severely mentally handicapped children need to be air-conditioned. This will reduce the discomfort these children bear due to their physical condition and will help them focus on learning.
2. With the support of the Secretary for Education and Manpower, the Director of Education (D of E) proposes to create a commitment of $65.01 million in money-of-the-day (MOD) prices for the provision of air-conditioning in 17 special schools, listed at the Enclosure, for physically and severely mentally handicapped children.
PROJECT SCOPE AND NATURE
3. The project provides for the installation of split-type air-conditioners with stand-alone fresh air pre-treatment units in 183 classrooms and 161 special rooms of 17 special schools for physically and severely mentally handicapped children. It also makes provision for the construction of an additional transformer room in one of the 17 schools in view of the inadequacy of its existing electricity supply system.
4. Until recently, the prevailing policy for providing air-conditioning to schools limited the installation of air conditioners to classrooms and special rooms affected in general by aircraft noise (within the Noise Exposure Forecast 30 Contour) or traffic noise (over Leq (1 hr) 65 decibels (A)), as a noise-abatement measure, or to computer rooms where air conditioning is required to maintain the equipment in good working order. This policy was also applied to special schools for the physically and severely mentally handicapped.
5. However, many physically handicapped children are wheel-chair bound and need strapping around their bodies for proper positioning. Others wear gaiters and flexion mitts during lessons. All these special requirements cause problems of perspiration, especially for children who have severe difficulty in regulating their body temperature in hot and humid weather. Many severely mentally handicapped children also suffer from severe physical disabilities. Air-conditioning is much needed to minimise their physical discomfort and to prevent skin infections. Their physical situation tends to prevent them focusing on learning during hot and humid weather. In view of these concerns, the Administration has promulgated a policy of providing air-conditioning to special schools for the physically and severely mentally handicapped irrespective of noise level. As an initial step, we propose to install air-conditioners in all 183 classrooms and 161 special rooms in 17 special schools for physically and severely mentally handicapped children.
6. Eleven of the 17 schools provide boarding services. Four of these have already installed air-conditioners in boarding areas using their own resources. With the assistance of the LegCo Panel on Education's Subcommittee on Facilities in Special Schools for Physically Handicapped Children, we have secured private donations for the installation of air-conditioners in the boarding areas of the remaining seven schools which do not yet have air-conditioning.
7. The capital works cost of the project is estimated to be $65.01illion in MOD prices (see paragraph 8 below). The estimated cost is made up as follows -
| $ million
|(a) Builder's works||9.97
|(b) Procurement and installation of split-type air-conditioners with stand-alone fresh air pre-treatment units||40.83
|(c) Consultants fees for contract administration and site supervision||4.87
|(e) Provision for price adjustment||3.77|
|Total Project Cost||65.01|
|(in MOD prices)
8. Subject to approval, D of E will phase the expenditure as follows -
|Year ||$ million|
|1999 - 2000||36.38||1.02625||37.33
|2000 - 2001||5.94||1.06217||6.31
|2001 - 2002||4.04||1.09934||4.44
|2002 - 2003||14.88||1.13782||16.93
9. We derived the MOD estimate on the basis of Government's latest forecast of trend labour and construction prices for the period 1999 to 2003.
10. Of the 17 special schools, seven have already installed window type air-conditioners in their classrooms and special rooms through private donations. The Director of Architectural Services (D Arch S) has advised that the existing window type air-conditioners do not fully meet the current standard in terms of interior noise level and fresh air requirement. However, immediate replacement is not absolutely essential. We plan to phase in the air conditioner installation programme to replace these window type air-conditioners by split-type air-conditioners with stand-alone fresh air pre-treatment units by 2002-2003. This is reflected in the cash flow at paragraph 8 above.
11. We will entrust the works to the schools concerned where they are willing and capable of taking on the work, in accordance with Government's established procedures for subverted school projects. D Arch S, as technical advisor, will vet the cost estimates and scope of works and ensure these are in order. Funds will be released by batches upon vetting by D Arch S. For schools or school sponsors that are not taking on the works by entrustment, the Architectural Services Department's term contractors will carry out the works for the schools concerned.
12. The additional annually recurrent expenditure on maintenance and electricity charges of the air-conditioners in 17 special schools is estimated to be $2.75 million This is based on an estimated annual expenditure of $8,000 per classroom/special room for electricity charges and maintenance. No maintenance cost will be incurred during the one-year warranty period. D of E will meet the recurrent cost in the form of a recurrent subsidy to these schools.
13. The current proposal was announced in the 1998 Policy Address.
We have briefed the various parties concerned and the LegCo Panel on Education's Subcommittee on Facilities in Special Schools for Physically Handicapped Children, all of which support the proposal. We do not consider public consultation with other parties necessary as the installation works are within the boundary of the special schools.
14. There would be no long-term environmental impacts from the proposed installation works to the special schools. During the installation period, we will control noise, dust and site run-off nuisances to within established standards and guidelines through the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures in the relevant contracts.
15. The project does not require land acquisition.
16. To give schools greater flexibility, they will be given the option of carrying out the installation works themselves. For schools which take up this option, they can determine their own installation schedule to suit their requirements. For schools which prefer the works to be carried out by Government, D Arch S will carry out the works towards the end of 1999 for completion in early 2000.
17. We will replace the existing air-conditioners for the seven schools mentioned in paragraph 10 above, in four batches, either by D Arch S or the schools themselves, to tie in with the wear and tear of the existing equipment, for completion no later than March 2003.
Education and Manpower Bureau
Enclosure to PWSC(1999-2000)38
List of special schools for physically and severely mentally handicapped children eligible for the proposed provision of air-conditioning
1. Ko Fook Iu Memorial School
2. B.M. Kotewall Memorial School
3. Caritas Jockey Club Lok Yan School
4. Mental Health Association of HK Pak Tin Children's Centre
5. John F Kennedy Centre
6. Princess Alexandra Red Cross Residential School
7. Caritas Lok Kan School
8. Caritas Lok Yi School
9. PLK Mr & Mrs Chan Pak Keung Tsing Yi School
10. PLK Law's Foundation School
11. Jockey Club Elaine Field School
12. Hong Kong Christian Service Pui Oi School
13. Margaret Trench Red Cross School
14. Chi Yun School
15. Hong Chi Pinehill No. 2 School1
16. Hong Chi Pinehill No. 3 School2
17. Haven of Hope Sunnyside School
1.An additional transformer room will be provided to cater for an increase in electricity demand in this special school.
2.Only window-typed air-conditioners will be installed in this special school, which will be demolished and redeveloped in two to three years time.