The HK01 investigation found that when the Buddhist Wong Wan Ting Secondary School in Mei Lam Estate in Tai Wai expanded its principal's office in April, it illegally demolished about 4.3 metres by 6.2 metres of the main wall of the main wall, which is six times the size of the main wall demolished in Lohas Park. The school admitted that the contractor had mistakenly demolished one of the main walls, and said that it had immediately and voluntarily notified the Housing Department and completed the restoration works in August, with donations from the school management and no public funds.
However, the Housing Department said that it received a complaint in June that it found that part of the structural wall of the principal's office had been demolished, although there was no immediate danger to the structure, and the school had requested the school to restore it. The Education Bureau said it had instructed schools to investigate and submit reports, and would issue severe warnings if violations were confirmed. Engineers estimate that the restoration project may cost 7,8 yuan.


When expanding the principal's office in April, the main wall of about 4.3 metres by 6.2 metres was demolished and doubled to 7 square feet. The position (circle) behind the workers involved is the main wall of the demolition, which has been excavated as a doorway, and the red circle is suspected steel bar. (Provided by the interviewee)

The expansion area of the principal's office has been doubled

The principal's office of Buddhist Wong Wan Tsuen Secondary School in Mei Lam Estate, Tai Wai is located in the school office on the ground floor, with only about 125 square feet. A former faculty member revealed that in April, under the pretext of renovating a new conference room, Principal Li Jingpin demolished nearly 4 square feet of English classrooms next to the principal's office, half of which was used as a conference room, a quarter as an expansion of the principal's office, and the rest as a storage room. After the expansion, the size of the principal's office was doubled to 500 square feet.

It is estimated that about 3.6 meters by 2.7 meters of the main wall will be demolished and the thickness of the main wall will be about 0.125 meters

The demolition of the English Room was completed over 4 days during Easter in April, and the main wall connecting the Principal's Room and the English Room was removed. The main wall was 3.6 m wide and 2.7 m high, with a thickness of about 0.125 m.

After the expansion of the principal's office, a table and chairs were placed for meetings, and a doorway was cut into the same main wall outside the principal's room, leading from the school office to the storage room. The reporter obtained a photograph of the excavated doorway, which had been restored in August.

When expanding the principal's office in April, the main wall (yellow) of about 4.3 metres by 6.2 metres was demolished and doubled to 7 square feet. The position of the worker in the picture is in the storage room, and the position behind him is the main wall involved, which is partially dug into the doorway (green), leading from the school office to the storage room, and the red line is the new partition wall.

Illegal expansion in April and restoration project in August

A post also appeared on a social networking site in August, saying that the principal of the school had expanded the principal's office, and that the wall had been torn down and that it needed to be "filled".

The reporter obtained a photo of the interior from the door of the English room, and saw the workers standing in the storage room, and saw a new gray-blue partition wall, which is the partition wall separating the expanded principal's room from the storage room.

If you look closely, the wall behind the workers is the main wall, the door leading from the storage room to the school office has been removed, and there is silver metal in the wall, which is suspected to be steel bar, and the restoration work was completed in August.

A doorway (left) has been carved into the same main wall outside the principal's exterior that leads from the school office to the storage room. He also provided a photograph of the excavated doorway, which was restored in August (right) (provided by the interviewee).

Engineer: The restoration project is estimated to be at least 30,<> yuan

In May, the main wall of the demolition was 5.0 meters by 72.2 meters, with a thickness of about 1.0 meters, and some experts estimated that the cost of restoration was at least 2,60 yuan. At present, the school has demolished about 3.6 meters wide by 2.7 meters high, about 0.125 meters thick, and the wall area is about six times that of the Lohas Park unit.

Ni Xueren, a senior civil engineer, said that the cheapest way to restore the project is to drill holes and insert iron, including consultant fees and demolition of partition walls, and it is estimated that about 30,<> yuan can complete the restoration project. He pointed out that the kitchen should be restored in Lohas Park, and the cost may be more expensive because of this.

The main wall has a large impact on the load sharing, and the structural engineering should apply for a change in the rules

Ni said that the demolition of the underground structural wall will have a great impact on the structure of the school, because the load on the upper floor will be transferred to the structural wall, and after the main wall is removed, the load will be shared by the main wall next to it, and the most serious may cause cracks in the floor slab and wall, but the school has restored it in a few months, and I believe the problem is not a big problem.

He said that it was the contractor's responsibility to verify the structural plans before carrying out the works, and that if the school was only involved in the alteration of partitions, it would need to submit the plans to the Education Bureau for approval, and the contractor would also have to submit the minor works application on paper. If structural works are involved, it is necessary to be more rigorous, and formal entry is required to obtain approval before construction.

In April, Tai Wai Buddhist Wong Wan Kai Secondary School demolished its English classroom for meeting rooms and expanded the principal's office, and demolished the 4.3 by 6.2 metre grey-blue main wall in violation of regulations (photo). (Provided by the interviewee)

The main wall cannot be demolished for a minor works licence

However, Ni questioned whether the school had engaged a registered general contractor, a minor works contractor or an unlicensed contractor. If the contractor concerned is licensed, the BD may consider nailing the licence, and if the contractor is undertaking the works, the BD can also control the contractor to sue them for operating without a licence and damaging the structure of the building.

The contractor involved is Otto Interior Design Engineering Company Limited, which has a minor works contractor's licence. The reporter called to inquire about the incident, and the staff admitted that they had undertaken the school's project in April, also known as having a minor works permit, but did not answer whether there was a license to remove the main wall, and said that they would contact the person in charge on their behalf.

Ni said that if complex demolition works are involved, they can only be demolished if they are subject to a registered specialist contractor (demolition works) or a relevant licence, and they must be approved by the department before they can be demolished.

The restoration works of Buddhist Wong Wan Tsuen Secondary School in Mei Lam Estate, Tai Wai were demolished in violation of regulations in April to expand the principal's office, and the restoration works were completed in August after being discovered by the Housing Department. (Provided by the interviewee)

The school said that it took the initiative to inform the project manager that the donation was not related to public funds

The reporter inquired about the incident with the school, and the school said that it would make a quotation in accordance with the procedures of the Education Bureau, and entrust a qualified contractor to follow up and be responsible for completing the relevant works. The contractor carried out the works as required by the Architectural Services Department and the Government, but during the construction period, the contractor mistakenly demolished one of the structural walls.

The school said that after learning of the incident, it immediately took the initiative to inform the Housing Department that the restoration works had been completed in August, and said that the improvement works of the School Office and the meeting room, as well as the installation of additional meeting tables and chairs in the principal's office, were generously donated by the school manager and did not involve public funds.

The restoration works of Buddhist Wong Wan Tsuen Secondary School in Mei Lam Estate, Tai Wai were demolished in violation of regulations in April to expand the principal's office, and the restoration works were completed in August after being discovered by the Housing Department. (Photo by Liang Zurao)

Housing Department: Report received in June

Although the school claimed that the contractor commenced the works in accordance with the Government's requirements and took the initiative to inform the Housing Department. However, the Housing Department replied that it had received a referral from the government hotline "6" in early June and a report from members of the public that there were suspected illegal alterations in the school, and that the structural wall between the principal's office and the school office had been partially demolished, posing no immediate danger to the structure of the building, and had sent a letter requesting restoration.

The DH has commenced an investigation into the case and, depending on the outcome of the investigation, will refer the case to the BD for disciplinary action, including legal action, against possible contravention of the requirements of the BO.

The EDB replied that schools that wish to renovate or expand their school premises on their own are required to apply to the EDB. The Bureau has instructed the school to investigate the incident and submit a report as soon as possible. After investigation, the EDB will give a stern warning if it confirms that a school has violated the rules, but has not answered whether the school has notified or submitted an application for the works.

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