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Schools spruced up ahead of new term

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Summer maintenance work at the Island's schools is nearly complete and they will be open on time for the new term, Wayne Scott, the Minister of Education, has assured the public.

However, the ministry is still working to fill “one or two” vacancies before the start of the school year on September 8, he said.

“Our goal is to have adequate staff at school in time for our students,” Mr Scott added. “The human resources department at the ministry is doing its best to ensure that it is sorted out.

“Our goal is to ensure that when students show up on September 8, they have the facilities, they have the supplies, they have the support staff so we can commence our children's education.”

Speaking outside Victor Scott Primary School yesterday, Mr Scott said work had been carried out at about a dozen of the Island's public schools, including the creation of the new Victor Scott Preschool, which will replace the former St John's Preschool.

“This summer, the facilities management team and the Department of Education will have completed 38 maintenance projects to improve our school buildings,” Mr Scott said. “Following a successful bidding process, work contracts were awarded to a number of local contractors to execute the repair and maintenance projects slated for the summer.

“Victor Scott Primary School was one of the major improvement projects, which is now in the final phase of completion.

“The lower restrooms were renovated for our children, an electrical service upgrade was implemented at the school, and a lower-level holiday was furnished with new tiling.

“In April of 2015 I informed the public that the St John's Preschool would move to the Victor Scott School's property. That move has been completed, and I would like to commend the team at the department of education, the principal of Victor Scott Primary School, the administrator of the renamed Victor Scott Preschool, led by our facilities manager, for their effort in successfully relocating the former St John's Preschool into a new refurbished west wing of the Victor Scott Primary School.”

Other projects undertaken over the summer included the renovation of restrooms at several schools, the purchase of a new shade structure for the lunch bench at Purvis Primary School, the installation of a new fire alarm system at East End Primary School and the installation of a new safety fence and stage at Somerset Primary School.

Work continues on other projects, including a new playground at Dalton E. Tucker Primary School, which is due to be finished by the end of this school year.

“These are just some of the many repair and maintenance projects undertaken this summer by our facilities section in the Department of Education,” Mr Scott said. “Additional maintenance tasks that were scheduled included pest-control assessments, fire-alarm testing, water tank chlorination and water fountain maintenance and cleaning.

“During the remainder of August, our school custodians will be working diligently to complete the preparation of the inside of our school buildings.”

Craig Cannonier, the Minister of Public Works, said the maintenance programme started in April with the buildings section crew inspecting schools and identifying repair issues.

More than 130 staff members were involved in the work, including electricians, plumbers, masons and painters.

“We are ready to open our schools,” he said.

“You will know that Elliot School suffered some serious damage to its roof in Hurricane Gonzalo. Our building team was able to do a temporary fix. We then contracted that work out and work has commenced and is about to finish.

“We are excited that Elliot now has a fixed roof, a leakproof roof and we can get on with the business of teaching our kids.”

Twelve schools were painted, with work still being carried out by local contractors at Port Royal and Clearwater schools.

Asked if all of the schools would be ready to open on September 8, Mr Cannonier said: “Our schools will be ready. Our schools will be prepared for our students. They will be in school on time.”

Freshly painted walls, refurbished floors and bathrooms give Victor Scott Primary and Victor Scott Preschool a vibrant look and feel for the new school year (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Antoine Smith, 39, adds the finishing touches to one of the floors at Victor Scott Primary School (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Students at Victor Scott Primary School will be welcomed back on September 8 and will be greeted by freshly painted walls and refurbishments (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published August 26, 2015 at 5:32 pm (Updated August 27, 2015 at 1:51 am)

Schools spruced up ahead of new term

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