Sitting nicely on a small hill opposite Springleaf Estate along Upper Thomson Road, this school has been forgotten since its closure in 1997. This is the previous campus of Upper Thomson Secondary School and Seletar Institute.
Upper Thomson Secondary School started in 1965, the same year Singapore achieved its independence. When it was first established, the classes were split into English and Chinese streams. In its first year, there were 13 classes of 484 Secondary One students taught in English and 10 classes of 365 students taught in Chinese.
As years went by, the number of student intakes rose to 1,500 to 2,000, where Chinese made up a majority of 80% or more. The school offered Secondary One to Four educations for all races of Singaporeans.
Despite limited budgets, Upper Thomson Secondary School had good facilities. Its premises consisted of a main block, assembly hall, a science laboratory block, basketball court and a man-made pond.
Many early batches of Upper Thomson Secondary School students excelled in table tennis and badminton, winning numerous trophies in national competitions for their alma mater.
In 1988, the school moved to a new site in Yishun and changed their name to North View Secondary School. The old campus was taken over by Seletar Institute (SI), which was established in the same year, and the old buildings were given fresh paintings, renovations and fitted with air-conditioners. A library, conference room, gymnasium, art studio, staff lounge and computer room were also added.
Seletar Institute was one of the four original centralised institutes (CI) in Singapore that offered three-year study and General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (Singapore Cambridge). The other three were Outram Institute (OI), Jurong Institute (JI) and Townsville Institute (TI). Outram Institute and Jurong Institute had merged to form Millennia Institute (MI) in 2004, while Townsville Institute closed down in 1995.
Likewise, Seletar Institute could not escape the fate of closure as Ministry of Education (MOE) announced there would not be any more enrollment of ‘A’ Levels students in 1996. The institute was closed a year later, and the campus was left vacant and forgotten for more than a decade.
Elsewhere in Singapore, there is another abandoned school compound located along Braddell Road. It was the former Braddell-Westlake Secondary School. Although it was vacated only since 2005, the conditions of the buildings had deteriorated rapidly due to the lack of maintenance.
The former Outram Campus of Nanyang Polytechnic has been abandoned for some 15 years. Situated opposite the Silat Road Sikh Temple along Jalan Bukit Merah, the campus was Nanyang Polytechnic’s five temporary campuses when it was first established in April 1992; the other four being Bukit Merah, Tiong Bahru, Yishun and Jurong.
In 1998, Nanyang Polytechnic consolidated its schools and faculties and moved to a permanent site at Ang Mo Kio. The Outram Campus has since been vacated and forgotten, while the other four campuses were demolished and redeveloped.
Published: 02 May 2011
Updated: 23 March 2013