Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 05, 2016 (SKNIS): After years of displacement, staff and students of the Basseterre High School (BHS) finally have a healthy and safe place (although temporary) to call home while a brand new state-of-the art school is built.
The Honourable Shawn Richards, Deputy Prime Minister, who is also responsible for Education, revealed that a BHS Site Selection Committee, comprising of various stakeholders from different Ministries, has been established to address the building of the new school.
“The Committee has identified three locations and the various key factors have been assessed to ensure that the sites would bring the most benefits to key stakeholders connected with the Basseterre High School,” said the minister. “The government has madebudgetary allocation of $10 million for the construction of the permanent BHS to commence in 2016.”
The Deputy Prime Minister stated that the Ministry of Education and, by extension, the Government of National Unity “has stood its ground and kept the promise by providing you the stakeholders with a new building, a clean and healthy environment with up-to-date facilities.”
“Students, teachers and parents, you have an outstanding, modern school facility,” said the minister while urging them to collaborate and to maintain “this beautiful structure, and a clean and safe environment.”
The school’s fenced compound is comprised of three building blocks with a total of 18 classrooms, one administration block and walkways. Other amenities include fire extinguishers in every room, white boards to reduce allergic reactions from chalk-dust, ramps for easy access to the bathrooms, railings and balusters installed on the elevated areas of the porches and an enclosed garbage area.
Fans were also installed in every classroom, the staff room was fitted with air conditioning units and benches were installed outside the classrooms. There is also a gazebo for students to eat lunch, water fountain on every block and an administrative area, which will now be used as a Student Support Service Center, housing the Guidance and Counseling Department and the school nurse.
The classrooms constructed on the site will be able to separate for relocation to another site for use for other purposes once the new school is built.
The education minister relayed sincere thanks to all persons and institutions involved in making the new school possible. These include the members of the Health and Safety Task Force and members of the sub-committee for identifying the land for the temporary site, INNOTECH, the sub-contractors, Allie Construction, E & J Construction and the suppliers.
Deputy Prime Minister Richards stated that the contractors were very accommodating in addressing concerns and extended special thanks to Anthony Dasilver and John Thomas of INNOTECH. He also thanked Dermoth Rawlins, Keith James, Keithroy Dyer and Errol Williams and all their workmen.
Profound words of appreciation were extended to those employees of the Public Works Department (PWD) who “supportively worked extra time to remove partitions at the Methodist Church Hall and Warner Park Stadium in the evening and reinstall them early morning before the school day commenced.”
Deepest thanks were also conveyed to the leadership of the Anglican, Methodist and Moravian Churches for their partnership demonstrated. Commendation went to the Sports Department for assisting with accommodation of the students and teachers.
“Words of gratitude are not enough for the students, teachers and parents of the school,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. “As a token of our gratitude to you for your patience and forbearance, today we present to you (the staff and students), a new, healthy and safe Basseterre High School.”