Ground Broken For James-Patterson Infant School

Story Highlights

  • Ground was broken on November 4 for the James-Patterson Infant School, in York View, Dias, Western Hanover, by former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, and Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites.
  • Funding for the first phase of the facility, which is being built in honour of Mr. Patterson and his family, is being provided by the Ministry of Education at a cost of over $100 million.
  • Contributions committed by a number of civic and corporate entities will be used to complete phase two.

Ground was broken on November 4 for the James-Patterson Infant School, in York View, Dias, Western Hanover, by former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, and Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites.

Funding for the first phase of the facility, which is being built in honour of Mr. Patterson and his family, is being provided by the Ministry of Education at a cost of over $100 million.

Contributions committed by a number of civic and corporate entities will be used to complete phase two.

Phase one will see the establishment of a full Infant School, while facilities for adult learning, a computer lab and a tourism training centre will be included in the second phase.

In his address at the ceremony, Mr. Patterson, who is from York View, in Dias, expressed delight that the school will become a reality in short order, noting that discussions and architectural works on the institution started before he demitted office as Prime Minister in 2006.

“Today is for me a very, very special day. As you can imagine, over many years I have been involved in countless ground breakings, but this one is as significant as any other,” Mr. Patterson said.

He noted that construction of the school forms part of activities to mark his 80th birthday celebrations, which took place on April 10 this year.

The former Prime Minister said the building of an infant school was the most apt way to use the York View lands, which were donated by his family.

“For me, this infant school on this site has a very special meaning. This school is called the James-Patterson School – it’s not James and then Patterson…This is the James-Patterson institute, not just for Patterson, but more so for James,” he said.

Mr. Patterson emphasised that when completed, the facility must be operated on a non-partisan basis, where politics, religion and gender will not matter.

“All who enter these premises, regardless of gender, regardless of religion, regardless of political connection, must be treated in an equal fashion, because that is what my grandparents and my mother and I would want to ensure,” he said.

The former Prime Minister said his vision for phase two of the building includes the establishment of facilities to assist with adult literacy, computer training as well as for the training of persons for the hospitality sector.

“I want the people of Dias, not just the children of Dias, of Kingsvale, of Cacoon, of Riverside and of Ginger Hill to benefit,” he added.

Also at the ceremony were:  Mayor of Lucea, Councillor Wynter McIntosh; Custos of Hanover, Hon. Dr. David Stair; and Executive Director of the Early Childhood Commission, Dr. Joan Reid.

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