First-day hitches — TN Tatem closed and overgrown fields at Gilbert – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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First-day hitches — TN Tatem closed and overgrown fields at Gilbert

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Despite Government's vaunted $1.27 million summer refurbishment of the Island's public schools, the new academic year didn't start without a hitch.

While Acting Minister Leah Scott gave thanks to staff for the 34 schools that were open for the new year, one of them — TN Tatem Middle School — remained closed, with staff working through the weekend to tackle outstanding issues at the Warwick school.

The school is scheduled to open on Monday.

This newspaper asked Public Works for details on the cause of the school's delayed opening, but received no comment by press time.

However, sources at the school suggested that teams from Works and Engineering had fallen behind on summer tasks, ranging from leaking pipes to leaking ceilings.

Two weeks ago, a joint initiative between Public Works and the Ministry of Education was said to have spruced up all the Island's public schools, in time for their opening day.

Yesterday, a “jungle” of overgrown vegetation on the grounds of Paget's Gilbert Institute Primary School prompted calls from irate parents.

One mother who contacted The Royal Gazette said another parent had taken it upon themselves to turn up early at the school yesterday, and cut away the tall grass from the walkways.

“The grass on both fields reaches as high as my waist,” the woman said. “I was told they couldn't send the children out at lunchtime because of it — it's that much of a jungle.

“They've had all summer, at least the last week, to deal with it. The principal told me they'd been trying since Tuesday to get someone out there to cut it.”

She said she'd contacted the Department of Parks — but was told to put her complaint in writing.

“Parks said I should write a letter or e-mail — really? This should be a priority.”

The overgrown grounds of the school have turned into a haven for insects, she added.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Parks said that staff had tackled the tall grass at the school yesterday, and would deal with “other schools” over the weekend.

The number of schools in need of extra attention wasn't divulged.

Overgrown: Long grass dominates the Gilbert Institute school field on the first day of school. (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Overgrown: Long grass dominates the Gilbert Institute school field for the first day of school. (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Overgrown: Long grass dominates the Gilbert Institute school field on the first day of school. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published September 07, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 06, 2013 at 11:47 pm)

First-day hitches — TN Tatem closed and overgrown fields at Gilbert

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