JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Students of the infant department of the Rennock Lodge All-age School in Kingston, are to benefit from a $1 million specialised playground, which will feature creative elements made from recycled materials and powered by renewable energy.
  • Ground was broken for the green project on May 13, which is designed by Architect, Scheed Cole.
  • Construction, which is slated to be completed by August, is being facilitated by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Foundation with support from shareholder, Marubeni Corporation.

Students of the infant department of the Rennock Lodge All-age School in Kingston, are to benefit from a $1 million specialised playground, which will feature creative elements made from recycled materials and powered by renewable energy.

Ground was broken for the green project on May 13, which is designed by Architect, Scheed Cole. Construction, which is slated to be completed by August, is being facilitated by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Foundation with support from shareholder, Marubeni Corporation.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, welcomed the initiative, which he said, is in keeping with his drive to transform Rennock Lodge into a model community.

Mr. Paulwell, who is Member of Parliament for East Kingston and Port Royal, where Rennock Lodge is located, commended the JPS Foundation on the move to expose the students to playing facilities that are modern and well constructed, noting that this augurs well for their overall development.

He also praised the architect for his concept, and for his innovation and ingenuity in creating a space that is not only pleasant but functional, and which utilises renewable energy.

In her remarks, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JPS, Kelly Tomblin, said through this initiative, the company is seeking to teach students the importance of energy efficiency and conservation from an early age.

Principal of the school, Jacqueline Lewis, also expressed her appreciation for the intervention, which she said, will serve to improve the quality of life of students.

Mayor of Kingston, Senator Dr. Angela Brown Burke, who is Chairman of the school board, said the project shows the kind of partnership that true sustainable development requires – collaboration among Government, private sector and the local community.

Dr. Brown Burke expressed the hope that the creative elements that will be featured on the playground, will bring out the “latent creative energies of the students”.

Explaining the concept, Mr. Cole said his vision is to revolutionise how playgrounds are created in Jamaica. He said the design goes beyond the customary swing and see-saw, to incorporate various play elements that utilise solar, wind and water energy.

The objective is to provide a fun space to teach and learn about electricity generation, renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation.

“I will be creating a sculptural element, which is a very playful looking frog, and based on solar energy, the eyes will be able to be lit…so that the children can understand that without connecting to any power source, this sculpture is able to use the energy from the sun,” Mr. Cole said.

The playground will also feature a look-out tower that uses wind energy; and a water wheel that will power a clock.

Mr. Cole informed that recycled soda bottles will be used to create the rock climber, tunnel, and slide. Recycled paper and Styrofoam will be incorporated in the cement mixture for these structures.

The playground is being constructed under the JPS Foundation’s three-year model schools initiative to help schools satisfy and surpass the basic standards set by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).

Rennock Lodge All-Age is the third institution selected to benefit under the project, which will also make the institution a model for efficient energy usage.

This will include infrastructure upgrade; wiring the school for electricity as needed; retrofitting the school to use only energy efficient lighting; and working with the institution to ensure it manages its usage and keeps energy costs as low as possible.