Students and staff of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic are expected to move into their new classrooms as soon as April 1.
These 16 new classrooms, which will house approximately 25 students per class, are part of the SJPP expansion project. This morning Minister of Education Ronald Jones and other ministry officials toured the annex located to the east of the campus in Wildey in St. Michael for a progress report.
The facility is located on 2.5 acres of land and includes two classrooms specifically outfitted for the teaching of Electrical Installation and Aesthetics, while the others will be utilised as course demands dictate. The expanded campus also includes 1.5 acres allotted for practical use for agriculture students.
Authorities have also equipped the area with wireless facilities to allow connection by students and staff to facilitate school programmes.
The expansion project was started a few years ago and it was conceptualised to respond to the increasing demand for programmes offered by the technical institution. Jones said that so far the project was 95 per cent completed and it was expected to be finalised by the end of March, with just an underground water tank, a septic tank as well as solar powered lighting for the car park to be established – all at an estimated cost of $900,000.
“What we sought to do here is to expand from the main SJPP some of the more popular and demanding areas for the students… Institutions, particularly technical institutions like the SJPP, have to respond to demand-driven education and there are areas here at SJPP where there is high demand.
“Many of these buildings take care of some of that demand … but do not satisfy 100 per cent. It was important that we sought to expand to the east of the polytechnic so more of our students could benefit from whatever is being offered as part of the sphere of the polytechnic.
“Early in the term of office we thought it necessary to get more students in the area of technical vocational qualifications; the polytechnic is the leading institution for technical qualifications and they must be on the front line, they must be the ones pushing back the envelop, opening the pages even wider than the book that we have so that more and more of our young people can benefit from what is offered here.
“If we make a statement, the green economy,†we have to go to the sustainable solutions and this is part of the sustainable solution. I am hoping that SJPP, as we move more and more into greening and a green economy, will be able to develop a programme which will help the whole process of greening,” said Jones. (KC)