The start of the new school term for St. George Secondary students will be delayed by a week. But it will be worth the wait when students return to the school located at Constant, St. George.
They will be met with some spanking new bathrooms, new ceilings for the first time in the history of the school, a beautiful façade thanks to a new paint job on the buildings over the Easter vacation and three new emergency potable water tanks, which when completed will ensure that the school is never closed as a result of a water outage.
The Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training has begun the process of upgrading the school plant, along with others around the island.
A recent visit to the St. George Secondary School by a team from the ministry, prior to the start of school next week, revealed freshly tiled ceilings in classrooms which were previously only covered by galvanized roofs. The new drop ceilings will result in cooler days for students and teachers, who at times had to endure the heat being conducted from the galvanized roof tops.
On their return to school, students will discover that some of the bathrooms which were less than ideal with broken toilets, peeling paint on the roofs and walls and rotting doors have been completely renovated with new tiles, doors, sanitary ware and even showers.
The art and home economics rooms are also being upgraded, and the technical drawing room located in the Industrial Arts block has received a facelift.
Problems with guttering and water leakage in classrooms when it rains have also been rectified during the refurbishment. The main classroom block has been replastered, waterproofed and repainted with the school colours incorporated into the colour scheme. The cafeteria is also being refurbished in the process.
The ministry’s school plant upgrade initiative was also in full swing over at the Milton Lynch Primary School at Water Street, Christ Church. The school has been undergoing some work to ready it for the start of the new term.
Plumbing work in both the infants and juniors’ bathrooms has been completed. The grease traps and manholes on the school’s premises have been cleaned, and the air conditioning units in the Information Technology room and the principal’s office have been fixed and/or replaced.
Additionally, the sections of the external fence and back gate of the school, which were previously compromised, have been repaired. All of the electrical issues affecting the school were resolved, and the gutters, handrails and roof sheeting were repaired and replaced where necessary.
Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, said the work at the St. George Secondary School would continue over time. She added that due to the extent of the repairs which needed to be carried out at some of the schools, the upgrades could not be done overnight.
Ms. Bradshaw noted that the summer vacation did not always allow for all of the work to be completed.
The Education Minister explained that the ministry was trying to do the best it could with what little resources it had at its disposal, but what was important was that it had made a start in upgrading school plants. She implored students to respect the new facilities, and recognize “that we are trying to make the environment conducive to learning”.