A sod turning ceremony took place on 23 June 2017, at the old school grounds of the Holy Cross RC school, to mark the commencement of work on a new $5.4 million school structure, for that institution.
The school has been housed in various temporary school accommodations for several years, including its current home at the Munich Roman Catholic Church grounds, which are also inadequate.
Hon Yolande Bain-Horsford, Parliamentary Representative, said, “That’s a project that is very dear to my heart, because I saw the need for the new building here, and so this has been taken to Cabinet every week. I’m very elated.”
The construction of the Holy Cross RC School is being executed as part of the World Bank’s Regional Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (RDVRP). FA Jeremiah & Co Ltd is the selected contractor, with the consultants being Consulting Engineers Partnership (CEP).
Anthony Boatswain, Minister for Education, Human Resource Development and the Environment, said he expects learning conditions will improve, once construction is complete. He thanked the staff of the Holy Cross RC School for their patience and all stakeholders involved in making the rebuilding project a reality.
“Government remains committed to the task of rehabilitating, rebuilding, reconstructing-upgrade of all of our schools that are now in a state of disrepair, as infrastructural development remains a top priority of this administration,” Boatswain said.
The education minister noted that more than 80% of Grenada’s physical school infrastructure was damaged during the passage of hurricanes Ivan and Emily, with the Holy Cross RC School being one of those. Edlyn Ruffin-Modeste, Principal of the Holy Cross RC School, expressed her joy at having the project begin, and thanked the Government of Grenada.
“Today’s sod-turning ceremony is a symbol of your ongoing commitment to providing our children with better and improved educational conditions,” Ruffin-Modeste said.
Ministers Bain and Horsford performed the sod turning, and after the ceremony attendees had an opportunity to visit the new site, which is located adjacent to the remains of the original school structure.
The new facility will comprise of a 2-storey main building, with a single storey annex linked by a covered walkway. The main building will be of reinforced concrete and block work construction, with a mix of reinforced concrete roofs and timber framed roofs covered, with profiled pre-painted metal sheeting. The main building comprises of 8 classrooms on the upper floor and 3 classrooms on the lower floor, a pre-primary school, computer and audio-visual laboratory, home economic centre, staff room and library. The annex comprises a student washroom, kitchen and lunch rooms, woodwork shop and storage and janitorial facilities. The school property will be fenced.
Upon completion, the school will serve as a designated national hurricane shelter. Therefore, the decision to construct the school at a higher elevation was based on the need to ensure disaster vulnerability reduction.
The Holy Cross RC School is one of many schools, which have been rehabilitated. Minister Boatswain noted many others, rehabilitated by the present government, including the TA Marryshow Community College, the Grenada Boys Secondary, Mac Donald College, St Mary’s RC Primary, Woburn Methodist, St Patrick’s Anglican, Paraclete Government, Mt Morris Anglican, St Dominica’s RC and the Vendome RC schools.
Boatswain also said several more schools are scheduled to be rebuilt, including the St Andrew’s Anglican Primary, Grenada Seventh Day Adventist, St David’s Catholic Secondary, Grenada Christian Academy and Bishop’s College schools. These will be rebuilt under the Caribbean Development Bank’s Grenada Education Enhancement Project.
Work on the Holy Cross RC School project is expected to conclude on, or before, 19 June 2018.