JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The project, which should be completed by the end of March, will allow for an additional intake of grade seven students come September 2014.
  • The project will be closely monitored by a technical team from the region.
  • Prefabricated technology is being applied in the construction process, which will prove cost-effective.

The Belmont Academy in Westmoreland is to benefit from expansion works, following the signing of a $14.9 million contract for the construction of five additional classrooms on February 6.

The project, which should be completed by the end of March, will allow for an additional intake of grade seven students come September 2014.

Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, and Member of Parliament for Eastern Westmoreland, Hon. Luther Buchanan, who was among the signatories, said  he is “extremely elated” at the implementation of the project, which will not only benefit students from Belmont, but also Whitehouse and Cave districts.

“It is what we need to continue our programme of development, because education is the only vehicle we can use to bring our country from poverty,” he stated.

Ministry of Education Regional Director for Region 4, Hillary Foster, said that the project will be closely monitored by a technical team from the region. She informed that prefabricated technology is being applied in the construction process, which will prove cost-effective.

Regional building officer, Marlon Grinion, informed that the school was originally built with further expansion in mind, so the construction of the five new classrooms is just the start of another phase of work on the institution.

He said that the prefabricated design, which will be used in the expansion project, will lead to savings of some $23 million over the original design, which called for reinforced concrete.

In addition to being cost-effective, Mr. Grinion informed that the use of the prefabricated material will also reduce construction time.

Other participants in the signing ceremony, held on the school grounds, included; Principal of the School, Rayon Simpson; School Board Chairman, Michael Jackson; and Project Manager at Tropical Metal Products Limited, Patrick McKenzie.