LONDON, ONT. -- London city council is set to decide on plans for a new 16-storey dormitory for the London International Academy planned for Horton Street East.

Before the pandemic, the London International Academy had grown to over 370 students, mostly from China, but with a growing representation from across the globe.

“We represent, over the last few years we’ve had about 30 different nationalities at the school,”says Recruitment Manager Vanessa Goulding.

Before COVID-19, the school had a plan for expansion, according to Executive Director Holly Zou. Now they're hoping to move forward with those plans.

“In five years we want to bring the international student number to 500.”

That expansion includes a new dorm that can house roughly 350 students built behind its current girls dorm on Horton Street.

“We’ll have all of our students in one new residence. Which will be built and will encapsulate the original residence at the front of the structure. And that will be for all our students,” says Principal Paul Debenham.

The 16-storey structure will house the high school-aged children, with close access to the academic campus on the corner of Richmond and King streets.

“Students will be living at Horton, but just a five-minute walk down the road they’ll be at their school campus for the classes,”says Goulding.

The academy hopes for further expansion in the future, but are committed to staying downtown.

“In the future if everything goes well, we are considering expanding our academic building in the downtown area,” Zou says.

“But we want to stay in the downtown, that’s why we invest a lot in the residence at SoHo Place.”

The proposal for SoHo Place was approved at the last planning committee meeting, and goes to a full council vote on Tuesday.

The estimated $20-million project is expected to be completed in two to three years.