St. Lawrence Primary School pupils and their teacher at their new temporary location in the St. Matthias Church Hall in Christ Church. (M.Rollock/BGIS)

St. Lawrence Primary School pupils in Classes One to Three started classes today at their new temporary location at St. Matthias Church Hall in Christ Church.

Meanwhile, the younger ones from Nursery to Infants B will start school at the St. Lawrence Anglican Church, St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, on Monday, March 5.

Speaking after a meeting with parents last evening at the St. Lawrence Anglican Church, Chief Education Officer, Karen Best, said that while everyone, including parents, understood the need to move the children because of a sewage spill on the school’s premises, the Ministry of Education was not going to write off the St. Lawrence Primary School.

“As soon as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) says that the school is ready for us to reoccupy, then we will do so. I spoke with the CMO and, from my understanding, there are discussions about building a berm that would keep the sewage spill away from the school,” she disclosed. A berm is a raised barrier separating two areas.

The decision to close the school was made last weekend after health officials deemed it was in the best interest of the children and teachers. The spillage is as a result of ongoing problems with the south coast sewerage system.

Class Four pupils who are sitting the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination this May, were immediately relocated to the Arthur Smith Primary School on Monday, February 26. However, the remainder of pupils stayed home while Ministry officials scouted appropriate sites to temporarily relocate them.

Mrs. Best dismissed the suggestion that the St. Lawrence Primary and Arthur Smith Primary schools be amalgamated to solve the problem.

“Arthur Smith, as a matter of fact, is bursting at the seams. It has no more room. In order to accommodate those Class Four students, a class was moved from an area and they are going now with another class at Arthur Smith. Arthur Smith has no room. We need St. Lawrence Primary School,” she stressed.

The Chief Education Officer divulged that coming out of the meeting with parents, the main concern was the need for a school warden in Hastings, Christ Church, to help students cross the street when they disembarked the bus. She said the Ministry would be addressing that issue.

Approximately 25 pupils have been accommodated at Arthur Smith Primary School; 85 pupils at the St. Matthias Church Hall; and, come next Monday, 100 students will be housed at St. Lawrence Anglican Church.

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