JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Ground was broken at Wolmer’s Boys’ School, in Kingston, on September 5, to commence construction of a new $170 million auditorium.
  • The new building, which is slated for completion in April 2015, will replace the previous structure, which served the all-boys school for many years and was destroyed by fire in January 1991.
  • $127 million of the project sum has already been secured through cash and confirmed pledges from past students and friends of the school.

Ground was broken at Wolmer’s Boys’ School, in Kingston, on September 5, to commence construction of a new $170 million auditorium.

The new building, which is slated for completion in April 2015, will replace the previous structure, which served the all-boys school for many years and was destroyed by fire in January 1991.

Speaking at the ceremony, Chairman of the school’s Fundraising Committee, and distinguished past student, Douglas Orane, advised that $127 million of the project sum has already been secured through cash and confirmed pledges from past students and friends of the school.

This, he pointed out, leaves a balance of $43 million, and urged support for the undertaking.

Meanwhile, Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, hailed the partnership involved in the project’s implementation.

“This is the kind of partnership that will make us great as a nation…understanding that joy comes from the gift of co-operation,” he said.

Rev. Thwaites also underscored the importance of alumnae associations in the welfare and development of schools.

“The education system could not exist without the contribution of the alumnae associations and the various partnerships that we have forged in the system. School, after all, is the only place in Jamaica where everybody goes at some time in their lives, and therefore, it must take on the added responsibility of socialization,” he said.

Noting Wolmer’s all round “tradition of excellence” in student development, which is “not the same in many high schools around you,” Rev. Thwaites urged the institution to reach out to others which, while they may be struggling, are endeavouring to attain and maintain high standards.

In his remarks, Chairman of the Wolmer’s Trust, Milton Samuda, said the project’s implementation represents the symbolic “turning (of) a new page” for the Group of Schools, particularly for the boys.

“Our tradition of excellence demanded that this happen. Groundbreaking for the Wolmer’s auditorium (is) a significant milestone in our history,” he said.

Principal, Dr. Walton Small, said the building “will not only serve the needs of our students, but will help to generate needed funds to assist in the development of the school.”

The new auditorium is designed to accommodate 2,300 students standing and 1,800 seated. It will also be available for use by students from Wolmer’s Girls’ School, and the Preparatory School.

Wolmer’s was founded in 1729 by a bequest in the will of philanthropist, John Wolmer. The Wolmer’s Trust was formed in 1736 to carry out the mandate of providing quality education.

The Trust currently operates three schools with a combined student population of 3,500.