ACS Doha International School has announced that it will open a new, 60,000 square meter campus in northern Doha in 2019.
The news follows lengthy negotiations over the lease of ACS Doha’s current campus in Al Gharafa, which was eventually extended until June 2019 after talks last summer.
In January last year, ACS had warned parents, teachers and pupils that it was in “protracted” negotiations with Ezdan over the renewal of its lease, and many feared that the school could close, leaving hundreds of children without a place to matriculate.
But the announcement of the new site should guarantee the school’s future in Qatar, as all existing students and staff will move over to the new site in three years’ time.
“It has always been the plan of ACS Doha to expand their school offering and build a purpose built school for the longer terms plans of the school in the future in Qatar” a spokesperson told Doha News.
ACS’ new school campus will be located in Al Kheesa, off the Al Shamal Road, close to the first junction beyond IKEA.
The site will be more than five times larger than the existing campus and will have a capacity of up to 2,470 students, more than doubling the school’s current cohort of around 1,000.
In a statement, the school said it would be located next to a new metro station, and that it would allow the school to “serve the educational needs of a significant number of mega projects including Lusail, the Pearl and the fast-expanding suburb of Um Salal.”
ACS Doha opened in 2011. An international school with American influences, it is part of a group of four ACS schools, the other three of which are in the UK.
According to the school’s headmaster Steve Calland-Scoble, the new campus will help build on the school’s continued expansion, which saw the introduction of Year 12 (the final year of school education) last September.
In a statement, Calland-Scoble said:
“Our amazing new campus … will be the key to helping our students gain entry to some of the best colleges and universities around the world – a goal which has real significance as we prepare to celebrate our first High School graduation on May 27.”
School place shortage
News of more school places at the new ACS campus will likely please parents who are seeking places in Qatar’s private schools, which have been struggling to accomodate children in the recent years.
While the recent waves of layoffs has reduced demand somewhat as expats and their families are forced to leave Qatar, some of the country’s more popular schools said this has merely shortened, rather than eliminated, their waiting list of students.
Are you a parent with a child at ACS? Thoughts?