Special Report: Reconstruction After Earthquake
MIANYANG, Sichuan, April 1 (Xinhua) -- The reconstruction of Beichuan Middle School, one of the schools that sustained the most damage in last year's earthquake in China's southwestern Sichuan Province, will start May 12, the first anniversary of the earthquake, officials said Wednesday.
The new school, mostly funded by donations from Chinese all over the world, will be built in Beichuan's new county seat, said Liu Qi, an official with the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese (ACFROC), which was in charge of aiding the rebuilding.
Officials will choose a design from submissions by leading universities including Tsinghua and Tongji as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Hong Kong University, he said.
More than 1,300 of the school's 2,900 students and teachers were killed or left missing in the rubble of the collapsed buildings in the Wenchuan 8.0-magnitude earthquake. Surviving students have attended classes in temporary pre-fab structures since shortly after the disaster.
Overseas Chinese have donated nearly 200 million yuan (29 million U.S. dollars) since August when the donation campaign began, Liu said.
The new school will cover about 13 hectares and is expected to enroll more than 5,000 students.
An ACFROC official arrived in Sichuan Tuesday and will work with the local government on construction, he said.
The reconstruction of Beichuan County, one of the worst-hit areas in the quake, began in February. The new seat is between Yong'an Township and Anchang Township, about 23 km from the former county seat.