Under the regular summer maintenance programme for primary schools, Government will spend an estimated three quarters of a million dollars to carry out repairs and upgrade works at 14 schools, this year.
The 14 schools, 13 primary and 1 nursery, which stand to benefit from the programme that falls under the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation are: Eden Lodge, Good Shepherd, Hillaby Turner???s Hall, Lawrence T. Gay, Mount Tabor, Sharon, St. Alban???s, St. Bernard???s, St. Joseph, St. Mark???s, St. Silas, Vauxhall and Bay Primary Schools, in addition to St. Giles Nursery.??
The refurbishment programme will address the repair or installation of new windows at three schools, changing of roof sheeting and or ceilings at five schools, and repairs to nutrition rooms at two schools. Additionally, there will be the refurbishment of bathrooms, electrical re-wiring, replacement of wood flooring and installation of a covered walkway and water tank platform taking place at other schools.??
According to the Ministry, the repairs will generally not impact the adequate availability of schools for use as hurricane shelters. Only St. Mark???s Primary is expected to be so affected, since the roof structure of the main building is also being replaced.
Project Manager of the Ministry???s Education Project Implementation Unit, Richard Harrison, noted that the repairs, which started on Monday, July 7, were scheduled to end on Monday, August 25, in time for school, which officially re-opens on Monday, September 1, for teachers and Monday, September 8, for students.
???As usual, this is to give principals and teachers at least a full week of availability to the completed sites before the children return to their classrooms and to ensure everything is satisfactory,??? Mr. Harrison said.
He also explained that under the new Sector Enhancement Programme loan, entered into with the Caribbean Development Bank in 2012, more primary schools are to receive additional buildings, or see expansions of existing blocks to provide increased teaching space, especially where student numbers are not being adequately facilitated.
Also on the cards is a project to install demonstration photovoltaic systems on 10 public schools (five primary and five secondary). The project is being executed by the Ministry, in conjunction with Government???s Division of Energy.