As Government moves to provide more spaces for students at the secondary level, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, on June 28 broke ground for construction of the Cedar Grove High School in Gregory Park, St. Catherine.
The school, to be built at a cost of $660 million through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will accommodate 1, 200 students when it is completed next year.
(Related Story: Ground Broken for Cedar Grove High School)
The project is a joint initiative of the Government and the New Testament Church of God in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, which has provided the land, and is the first school to be built under the National Education Trust (NET).
Speaking at the ground breaking, Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, lauded the initiative, noting that it renews the partnership between the Ministry and the church in providing education.
He stated that alternative energy will be a feature of the construction and operation of the school. “This level of environmental responsibility is going to become the norm for schools going forward in Jamaica,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that there is a “tremendous shortage” of spaces at the secondary school level, with 20,000 school places needed in St. Catherine alone, and encouraged more partners to come on board to build more schools in the island.
The school, which will be situated along the Gregory Park main road, next to the Cedar Grove community, will comprise 20 classrooms, 10 technical workshops, three science laboratories and two computer laboratories along with administration, washroom and lunch room facilities.
Other facilities include: library, book rental room, tuck shop, store room, kitchen, multi-purpose dining area, ancillary staff area, and ramp access for the disabled. The works will be undertaken by HDB Construction.
The National Education Trust is the executing agency for the Government’s strategic objectives in enabling and maintaining infrastructure investments in the education sector.
Others participating in the groundbreaking ceremony were: Administrative Bishop, New Testament Church of God in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, Rev. Dr. Barrington Brown; Member of Parliament for East Central St. Catherine, and State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown; Country Representative, IDB, Ancil Brewster; and Mayor of Portmore, His Worship, George Lee.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter