First Look: $400M Campus Upgrade for SAS

Singapore's largest US-curriculum school will be transformed over the next five years with new learning spaces, play areas and sports facilities.
First Look: $400M Campus Upgrade for SAS
By Carli Allan
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Singapore’s largest international school is about to get even bigger. Singapore American School (SAS) is upgrading its 36-acre Woodlands site to include a new athletics facility and two new swimming pools, new elementary and middle schools, and upgraded facilities for the arts, science, technology and robotics. Around 60% of the campus will be completely rebuilt as part of the $400 million campus upgrade, which is due to be completed by 2026.

SAS is one of the largest American schools outside the US and one of the largest single-campus international schools in the world. Located in northern Singapore it has a predominantly American student population, and it currently enrols around 4,000 students.

Through the SAS Reimagined project, the school plans to increase space for learning by 35% at its already huge campus; this will include rebuilding the elementary school (KG to Grade 5) and middle school (Grades 6 to 8). The upgraded campus will include flexible classrooms that can be used for single classrooms, shared classrooms, or a mix of the two; purpose-built spaces for engineering, and robotics; and there will be more makerspaces in the school’s libraries.

The SAS Reimagined project will be completed in a series of three major phases over the next six years; construction will start at the end of May 2021 on the elementary and high school, and work started late last year on the new West Fields athletics facility.

Tom Boasberg, superintendent of Singapore American School, said:

“Our greatest asset as a school is our educators. They are essential in creating engaging and meaningful learning experiences for each and every student who comes to SAS. We invest significantly in attracting, developing, and retaining some of the greatest teachers in the world. Our campus upgrade project represents one more way we are investing in our educators. This project will create learning environments with endless possibilities for our students and educators.” 

The elementary school, which is the largest part of the school, will have more play areas, more learning spaces, a covered bus bay, new dining areas, a gym, and a 25m covered swimming pool.

The middle school will have more learning spaces, larger makerspace with a green screen, improved access to the school’s rainforest, a covered play space, new full size gym, and a dedicated dining space.

And, in the high school, there will be new dining and community spaces, upgraded classroom and specialist teaching rooms, renovations to the high school library, new health and fitness facilities, and a 50m swimming pool (due to open April 2022).

The new West Fields athletics facility will provide a new training ground for athletics, four tennis courts, a full-size soccer/football pitch, and a baseball field; it will be large enough to host large athletic events like IASAS; this is due to open in August 2021.

SAS is ranked fourth out of 200 on the Singapore’s Best Employers 2021 list, and the school is first in the Education category.

SAS, which opened in 1996, hopes to increase enrolment by 4%, which is expected to meet the growing demand for its Chinese immersion programme which runs from Kindergarten through to Grade 5. The upgrade will be largely funded through the facilities fee which has been collected from parents over the years; families currently pay $7,490 per year towards "the ongoing maintenance, renewal, and replacement of campus facilities". The school says that tuition fees will not rise above the normal annual inflation-based increases, which will see parents paying an extra 2% for the 2021-22 academic year.

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