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Destination downtown: KC family seeking millions to build Douglas Forrest Building with high tech library

Published:Monday | March 14, 2016 | 12:00 AM
An artist's impression of the proposed Douglas Forrest Building, complete with library, computing facilities and additional classrooms.
An artist's impression of the proposed Douglas Forrest Building, complete with library, computing facilities and additional classrooms.

One of the leading educational institutions in downtown Kingston is moving to improve its facilities with the aim of improving the performance of its students.

Kingston College (KC) has embarked on an ambitious multimillion-dollar plan to construct the Douglas Forrest Building at its North Street campus, with an ultra-modern library and technology centre.

According to the team at KC, including administrators and old boys, today's students need to have available to them the capacity for interactive learning.

The planning team has noted that library facilities on both KC campuses have been in a deplorable state for well over a decade.

"The library on the Melbourne campus has long been converted into a classroom, while the library on the North Street campus is merely a room housing mostly aged volumes that in many cases, are now past their usefulness," argued the planning team.




Because of this, there is heavy dependence on instructors to provide as much relevant and current information within very limited classroom contact periods, which limits the scope of information each student can access.

"Through computers and ever-improving software technology, students will get to experience scenarios as they are being taught, further enhancing the learning experience.

"It does not take much to see that students who do not have the most advanced tools of learning are at a great disadvantage and will not be able to make use of the opportunities available to them if they are not fully prepared with the necessary skill set," said the team before the scheduled public launch of the plan today.

The planning team argues that in addition to being places of comfort, school libraries help students achieve academic success as well as boost their drive to learn.

"They allow each student to explore worlds beyond the classroom walls by delving into a variety of books as well as access technology [which is usually not available at home].

"This can be better facilitated when libraries are integrated in the realm of instructional technology whereby a computer network is designed that would avail the resources of the library to the school community wherever they are - in classrooms, labs, offices, and even, in the best situations, from home."

The completion of the Douglas Forrest Building will:

n Increase classroom space (the school population is over 1,900 and the need for additional classroom space is very critical).

n Facilitate implementation of an appropriate library to fully aid the research and development needs of the school.

n Be critical for the establishment of a state-of-the-art computer facility.

n Cater to the differences in learning and teaching styles through the provision of and equality of access to a wide range of materials, fiction and non-fiction, print, audio, video, and digital.

n Provide teachers with access to relevant curriculum information and professional development materials within and outside the school.