Middle Road Hospital being turned into private school

From venereal disease and skin treatment centre to education centre that ls the unusual story of the former Middle Road Hospital, a Gov­ernment-run outpatient clinic. The three-storey pre-war building will soon be a private school called the Winfield School of Commerce by John Winfield Consultants Pte Ltd, which also runs the Singapore Institute of Commerce.

Although the clinic, now known as the National Skin Centre, moved to Its new premises In Mandalay Road on Dec 9, 1988, the place still receives a few visitors dally asking to see the doctor. To be named the John Win­ field Centre, the 2,500 sqm building has been under reno­vation since July last year.

Tremendous effort has been made to detach the place from lts former bad public Image, said Mr Kannapan Chettlar, 29, the managing di­rector of John Winfield Consultants. . An estimated $1 million Is being spent on Its makeover.

"Once a person steps Into this conducive studying envi­ronment, I believe that any existing stigma would be removed," Mr Chettlar said.

Walls have been repainted and knocked down to create more room for classes. The old cement floors have been carpeted or tiled and the dull grey rooms are now a pleas­ant cream and pink. Apart from the 14 class­ rooms, the building houses a library, a bookshop, a semi-nar room and a cafeteria designed along the line of a French dell.

To be doubly safe, rhe building has been fumigated against any germs or bacteria and wUl be sprayed again be­ fore It opens. Mr Chettiar ex­pects to start enrolment by next month, once the Ministry of Education gives It the go-ahead. Offering a range of day and evening courses from A-level to diploma and degree courses In law and commerce, the school hopes to attract around 1,000 students. The complete package of courses and the fees have not been drawn up, but the start­ er course wlll be the Universi­ ty of London External Law degree course.