The refurbishment of four sets of bathrooms at the Luther Thorne Primary School by the parent teacher association has been praised by Minister of Education Ronald Jones as the kind of investment that the country needs.
Jones said during a tour of schools that included the Wildey, St. Michael-based institution at the start of this week, that Government often needed these types of partnerships.
“They’ve done an excellent job over there… It is efforts like this that we compliment where parents get fully involved in the facility because their children go there and the state does not always have, never has all of the money to do all of the work so they are phased…,” he said.
President of the PTA, David Heeralal, said as the school approached its 30th year, the organisation had found a number of areas that needed improvements and the bathrooms were one such area.
“Some of the dividers were falling down, some were on the ground and then the whole area was really dark. So we [sought] to improve that and make it a lot easier for the children because some children don’t want to go to the bathrooms because of the darkness of it,” he said.
The PTA got together and discussed the needs and decided to make the bathroom renovations their project, the president said, explaining that it meant drawing on the building fund that they had been donating towards.
“So we renovated four bathrooms, two on the junior block and two on the infants block. There are actually 12 cubicles in each bathroom and it cost us a little over $60,000. We went over our [projected] budget … but you don’t know what you are dealing with until you start to pull down,” he said.
They had budgeted between $58,000 and $59,000 for the project.
“[W]e did not expect it to go over but it did… This is some money we had put aside in a building fund, so we decided to use that. This is a fund that we had put aside over the years so we used that to improve the bathrooms.”
He said there were sure to be other areas that needed attention going forward, but the PTA would first meet with the principal to see what other needs were there before proceeding. (LB)