A clean and sanitized St Lawrence Primary School reopened this morning, eight weeks
after it was forced to close on February 26 as a result of the flow of raw sewage on the south coast.
Relieved parents who have had to take their children to Arthur Smith Primary School at Pleasant Hall Land, St Matthias, Christ Church, as well as the St Matthias Church and the St Lawrence Anglican Church during the closure, said they welcomed the reopening of the educational institution.And Principal Andrea Cheltenham gave the assurance that the building was in good shape.
“The ministry sent in not one, but two crews to clean everything and you can look around and see that the premises are clean. Even the trees are cut,” Cheltenham told Barbados TODAY.
“All efforts were made to ensure the facilities were ready for the children, so that they can comfortably settle back in,” she added.
Education officials closed the school after sewage spilled across the street on sections of Highway 7.
With the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examinations – commonly referred to as the Common Entrance Exams – approaching, the class four students were the first to be relocated so their preparation for the examination would not be severely disrupted.
“They were in no way disadvantaged from this closure as they were the first to be relocated to Arthur Smith Primary School and they worked alongside the teachers throughout the vacation. So they are very much on stream for May’s exam,” Cheltenham said today.
Chief Education Officer Karen Best had earlier explained that on advice from the Ministry of Health, an artificial ridge or embankment was built to prevent effluent from entering the school’s premises, while a manhole to the north of the property had been “secured”.
Additionally, she said industrial cleaning was carried out at the school, which now has a perimeter fence firmly in place to allow for the resumption of classes.
In a statement released by the Barbados Government Information Service on Friday, Best also thanked the principal of the Arthur Smith Primary School, as well as the priests and church councils of St Matthias Church and the St Lawrence Anglican Church for willingly accommodating the displaced pupils.