Harrison College set to get makeover
The century old Harrison College is in for some major renovations.
Word of this has come from Minister of Education Ronald Jones who today revealed that after spending over $23 million to repair Lodge School, the Crumpton Street school would be next in line a makeover.
His comments came on the heels of calls from the President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU) Mary Redman for both Harrison College and Foundation to be fixed of environmental problems, including mould and structural deficiencies.
But while Jones admitted there was a need to repair several secondary and primary schools around the island, he called for the unions to work with his Ministry to find solutions and not “get into the sensationalism.”
“Harrison College is an old plant. When we are finished with Lodge, and I believe we are spending around $23 million, we can’t then spend $20 million at Harrison College and $50 million at Foundation all in one space.
“We have identified and we have discussed that the next school which will engage our major attention is Harrison College,” Jones said.
“But the union doesn’t have to tell us to do our work. We surely don’t tell them to do their work. But there is this creeping behavior coming across all segments of Barbados that somehow, somebody must tell you how to do your work. I think that it needs to stop. We know what we have to do and we are going about doing what we have to do. We are trying to ensure that our schools are repaired and trying to make sure where there are difficulties, as resources present themselves we solve those difficulties.”
Jones pointed to the rebuilding of Queen’s College in Husbands, St James, and the building of Lester Vaughan in St Thomas as prime examples that the Ministry was in touch with the needs of students and teachers.
He argued though, that repairs to all of the primary and secondary schools could not be carried out at the same time.
“Harrison College is an old plant. We know that based on the age of the plant that there has to be major work there and we might have to build a new block. There are parts of the school where the building material was limestone. People have to understand this. But if they want everything one time, they might have to give up all of their salaries and work free.
“We know we also have to build a technology wing at Foundation and that will be part of our next estimates . . . but as resources present themselves, they will all be dealt with,” the minister said, adding that schools such as Queen’s College, Deighton Griffith, Alleyne and Lester Vaughan were in line for upgrades.
He also said he felt schools could also “do a little bit more for themselves,” in respect to keeping their surroundings clean.
Menatime, Jones revealed that Government was over $100 million on repairing primary schools, including Belmont, St Martin’s Mangrove, St Elizabeth, Wesley Hall and St John’s Primary.