With a 32-acre campus serving more than 1,600 students, annual facilities upgrades at the International School of Beijing (ISB) are a given! Read on to find out about some of our major recent renovation and replacement projects.
The IT department accomplished two major upgrades: replacing both the wireless network and classroom presentation systems. With so many of our students engaged in 1:1 technology, cross-campus fast wireless connectivity is vital. In the classrooms, all smartboards have now been replaced with short throw projectors. Smartboard technology had become obsolete. However, replicating their interactive presentation functionality is now possible with just a short throw projector, which turns any surface into a touchscreen.
Our play spaces have also been developed: the running track has been resurfaced, Gym 4 refreshed, and the ES playground remodeled. The seven-year-old running track, which had settled and weathered, had its surface stripped and replaced with quality-assured non-toxic materials imported from Germany. Water depth in the ES playground was identified as a potential concern during last year’s accreditation reviews; facilities removed the pond but kept the stream, reducing its depth. The ES faculty ran an initiative with their students, who voted to select the playground’s exciting new design elements.
In terms of furniture upgrades, the cafeterias have been spruced up: MS/HS cafeteria has new tables and chairs, while the ES received new cafeteria tables and an interesting new layout. Chief Financial/Operating Officer, Gerrick Monroe, told us that ISB actively identifies local suppliers; working with them to meet the school’s requirements for high-quality, long-lasting, solid pieces of furniture. All of the furniture in our cafeterias has been made in China. The facilities team equipped several classrooms with sample classroom furniture at the beginning of the school year, giving teachers time to examine it in person and order what they felt would best work for their classrooms. Currently, our exciting new ES classroom furniture is sitting in the Dragon Dome, waiting to be installed in the classrooms over October Break.
Security has seen two key updates: the provision of card-access door locks and the set-up of additional security cameras. “We’ve relocked the entire building,” said Mr. Monroe. “If you lose your card we can simply shut it down. This upgrade completely addresses master-key and key-control issues.” Access can be granted on a card-by-card, room-by-room basis. “We especially want to keep our students safe,” said Mr. Monroe, “This system means every room can be locked after hours or when unoccupied.” Meanwhile, ISB continues to prioritize student safeguarding: with additional security cameras addressing high-needs areas, such as restroom entrances. “We always want to provide the safest and best environments for our students,” said Mr. Monroe.