A sod turning ceremony took place on June 23, 2017, at the old school grounds of the Holy Cross R.C. 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”.
The construction of the school is being executed as part of the World Bank’s Regional Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (RDVRP). F.A. Jeremiah & Co. Ltd. is the selected contractor, with the consultants being Consulting Engineers Partnership (CEP).
The honourable 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 R.C. 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 and upgrading all of our schools that are now in a state of disrepair”, Boatswain said.
The education minister noted that more than 80 percent of Grenada’s physical school infrastructure was damaged, during the passage of hurricanes Ivan and Emily, including the Holy Cross R.C.
Principal Edlyn Ruffin-Modeste expressed her joy at having the project begin.
Ministers Boatswain 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 a two-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 eight classrooms on the upper floor and three 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 lunchrooms; 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.
Work on the project is expected to conclude on, or before, June 19, 2018.