Lawmakers today cleared the path for a charity to build its next nursery school with the Ministry of Education even as construction work has already started.
In a parliamentary resolution, Government has vested 5,000 square metres of land in Government Hill, St Michael to the Maria Holder Memorial Trust under a lease arrangement for the construction of the fourth in a series of state-of-the-art preschools.
The building on land adjacent to the Charles F Broome Memorial Primary School is to be leased to the Trust for 30 years at $1,500 annually, according to Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development Charles Griffith.
He said the Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the school, which will be insured for about $2 million.
Griffith praised the philanthropic foundation for its work, saying it should serve as an example for other local charities.
During his presentation, which was dotted with the history of the Trust, Griffith said the charity was keen on promoting and supporting health care initiatives designed to improve the quality of life for children, the elderly and the vulnerable and assist with the education and training of youth in disadvantage and vulnerable situations.
“They are making meaningful contribution in almost every single area. And I hope that at some point in time the constituency of St John can also benefit from the initiatives of this organization,” said the St John MP.
Under a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Education signed with the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration, the charity opened the first school at Sharon, St Thomas, the second one at Gall Hill in Christ Church, and one in Oldbury in St Philip.
A total of seven nursery schools were earmarked for construction, the other locations being Holders Hill, St James; Sayers Court, Christ Church and Deacons, St Michael.
In his contribution, St Michael East MP Trevor Prescod, in whose constituency the new Government Hill nursery is to be built, said he was pleased with the work of the charity over the years.
Highlighting the Trust’s other work, Prescod, the Minister of Environment and National Beautification, said he would be calling on the Trust for assistance in developing Government’s planned botanical gardens at Codrington, St Michael.
“I would really like at some point to request them to contribute to the botanical gardens so they can come up and help us achieve the development of the botanical gardens which is so badly in need of funding,” said Prescod, adding that he was aware that the tu“a social conscience”.
It was during the opening of the Welchman Hall, St Thomas play park under the Maria Holder Memorial Trust’s Eleven Play Parks project late last year that Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced that the promised National Botanical Garden would finally become a reality.
At the time, chairman and co-founder of the trust Christopher Holder said he was willing to assist with the development of the botanical garden.
A price tag has not yet been announced for the project.