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New schools

rhondathompson, [email protected]

New schools

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ONE NEW SECONDARY SCHOOL will be built, and four primary schools rebuilt over the next three years. 

These five new schools will be funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government.

This was announced yesterday by Minister of Education Ronald Jones during a pause on his scheduled tour of 14 primary and nursery schools on the ministry’s domestic summer repair programme. That programme cost approximately $750 000 and most of the work should be completed for the opening of school on September 8.

“We will have work done on a new secondary school to be built at Searles, [Christ Church] . . . . It will most likely start next year,” said Jones

Then there are several schools that are . . . for new build. Wesley Hall, that is a very old structure, so you will do a new build on that site . . . . You will have a new build at Belmont Primary as well, a new build at St Martin’s Mangrove, . . . a new build at Boscobelle, new build at St Elizabeth Primary in St Joseph, you will have some plant enhancement at Wilkie Cumberbatch and St Philip’s Primary.

“So over the next three or so years you will have some plant enhancement but about five or so new build. Those resources are there for this work to role out,” said Jones while at the Maria Holder Nursery School.

Jones explained that during the construction phase of the primary schools to be rebuilt, students would be housed in accommodation nearby to the present schools. He said in the past churches and other facilities were used and this would be their approach.

Explaining the necessity for rebuilding the schools, Jones said: “A school like Wesley Hall Primary has been taking resources overtime. We have been spending more and more money and therefore a school that old from time to time you have to take them down and do a new build . . . and I’m sure the 600-odd students there would be quite pleased when that is completed with enhanced facilities with technology for art, for science and those areas for pedagogy to take place.”

Jones said the ministry would need the support of teachers, parents and students during the rebuilding period, but they would be assured of having superior conditions to what they had before in a year.

As for the scope of this year’s repair programme, roofs were fixed, windows, doors, ceilings and floors were replaced, a covered walkway constructed and  electrical wiring and refurbishing of bathroom cubicles carried out.

The minister praised the contractors for completing the work on time and their workers for their diligence. He said only one school, St Mark’s Primary, was not finished but the work there was 95 per cent complete.

The schools involved in this year’s programme were Bay Primary, Eden Lodge Primary, Good Shepherd Primary, Hillaby/Turner’s Hall Primary, Lawrence T. Gay Primary, Mount Tabor Primary, Sharon Primary, St Alban’s Primary, St Bernard’s Primary, St Giles Nursery, St Joseph Primary, St Mark’s Primary, St Silas Primary and Vauxhall Primary. (SP)