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Schools almost ready

Teacher Kelicia Stoute with some of her pupils preparing classrooms at Vauxhall Primary.

With four days to go before the new school year opens, education officials today said that the island’s schools were 98 per cent ready to receive students.

Chief Education Officer Laurie King told reporters at the Christ Church Girls School, following visits to Erdiston Special Unit and the Vauxhall Primary School that they were hoping to complete the remaining two per cent in the coming days.

“We are just about 98 per cent ready and by Monday we should be at 100 per cent. In terms of staffing we have taken care of all the staffing needs here — about 40 principals who are going to be new or who have been reassigned and they are all in place. All the staff members are all in place, all the senior teachers.

“We have also taken care to make sure that the needs with respect to furniture have been met. So we are all systems go come Monday,” King said.

Minister of Education Ronald Jones, who led the tour, noted that they had spent approximately $1.3 million on the refurbishments and renovations to the 17 schools involved in the 2012 Domestic Summer Programme.

“So far we are satisfied with the completeness of the work and the state of readiness… The majority of those schools are 100 per cent completed. There may be two or three schools left that might need a little more time,” Jones said.

Information supplied by Richard Harrison, Project Manager in the Education Project Implementation Unit, noted that indeed the majority of schools for which work had begun in June, July or August, had been completed.

Among the completed schools were: Bayley’s Primary, where work was done to sills and columns and the plant’s exterior; Boscobel Primary, Eden Lodge Primary and Vauxhall Primary, which had a complete electrical refurbishment; while Eagle Hall Primary’s annex ceiling was repaired.

Erdiston Special Unit had extensions to offices; Ignatius Byer had repairs to columns, windows, etc; St. Elizabeth Primary — repairs to Nutrition Room; St. John Primary — placement of termite infested roof; St. Stephen’s Primary — prefab buildings and main building works; Welches Primary — new covered walkways and other repairs; Wesley Hall Infants — windows repairs and repairs to prefab classrooms at Wilkie Cumberbatch. Good Shepherd had work done on the stairs.

Those still in the final stages at All Saint’s Nursery, where work was being done on the two storey building, and windows. That is 65 per cent completed. Work to cover walkways and install drains at St. Jude’s Primary is 70 per cent finished; and repairs to blocks, windows etc., at St. Luke’s Primary are 85 per cent completed.

The work at Christ Church Girls to provide a canopy over the courtyard of the school was described as a bit outside the scope of the overall summer project, but that should be completed within three weeks. However, officials assured that work would only be done on evenings and weekends to avoid the disruption of classes.

Jones said other schools with limited space could also be getting covered assembly areas, but this would be subject to availability of resources. (LB)

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