JIS News

Some $8.6 million was spent recently to renovate the Glenhope Child Care Facility located on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston.
The upgrading of the facility comes as part of the Child Development Agency’s (CDA) move to address the physical and infrastructure of places of safety.The rehabilitation of childcare facilities commenced last year with the Homestead Place of Safety in Stony Hill, St. Andrew. This process will continue until all facilities are brought up to standard.
Work completed at Glenhope include expansion of the home economics room equipped with a new refrigerator, stove and other utilities; the creation of a new area for a sewing room and a computer room; the addition of more security systems, inclusive of razor wires atop compound walls; the installation of new sewerage facilities; and the creation of an area, where the girls can either sit and play board games or read. A tennis court was also built by the Kiwanis Club of North St. Andrew. Staff members have not been left out, as they now have their own accommodations, complete with bath and other amenities. There is also a sick bay, which can be used when the nurses and doctors visit.
“After six arduous months of work, I am pleased to say we have maximum capacity of 80 residents, with the addition of the three new dormitories of varying sizes to complement the previous three,” said Michelle McIntosh, Director of Management and Accounting Services at the CDA, at the opening ceremony on February 15.
She said that initially, the total budget was $8.1 million. However, plans changed as the courtyard was added and the electrical system throughout the building was overhauled.
“When we started to do the work we realised there were serious fire risks and we had to overhaul the system and that came up to some $373,000 but we saved on other items,” Miss McIntosh informed.
She also promised that the facility would be monitored by the head office, to ensure that “the money remained well spent and that all the assets of the agency were safeguarded”.
Robert Williams, Acting Manager of the facility, pledged to take “good care of the place, so that the girls will be comfortable for the duration of their stay”.
The vision of the CDA, he said, was truly evident, given the provision of a comfortable environment and delivery of quality service for the girls who resided at the facility.
“Many of the girls suffer greatly from the separation from family and significant others, and the least we can do is to house them in a comfortable setting,” he said, adding that the girls and staff fully appreciated what had been done for them.
Next on the agenda will be Copse Place of Safety in Hanover, which is an institution for boys.