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JIS News

The Woodhall Basic School in Bartons, St. Catherine, which was recently renovated by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) at a cost of $6.2 million, was handed over to the Woodhall community on Thursday (Sept. 28).
The project involved the rehabilitation to the school building, including repairing the roof and constructing kitchen and bathroom facilities.
JSIF board member Bishop Rudolph Daley, in his remarks at the handing over ceremony, said that Jamaica had made great strides in raising the standard of education, particularly in the early childhood sector.
“More recently, the government of Jamaica reiterated its commitment of placing early childhood high on its agenda and today’s handing over of the recently rehabilitated and equipped Woodhall Basic School by JSIF, is in keeping with this commitment,” he noted.
He said that JSIF was happy to have approved the project and encouraged the community to ensure that the facilities were properly maintained.
Bishop Daley informed that JSIF was celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and as part of activities to mark the occasion, a ‘Best Kept Project’ competition had been launched. Projects completed within the first five years of JSIF’s operation are eligible for entry.
Meanwhile, Principal of the Woodhall Basic School, Audrey Brown Singh, told JIS News that the renovation included separate bathrooms for teachers and male and female students, and a fully equipped kitchen/canteen.
She further informed that the building had been expanded to provide more classroom space, the roof had been raised to reduce heat and allow for better ventilation, while the property was fenced. The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) also donated a fire extinguisher.
“I’m giving God thanks for this building. I’m quite elated and the members of the community are so enthused. The school is now the talk of the community,” she gushed.
The Principal informed of plans to from a parenting group to teach parents how to better care for their children and provide nutritious meals, and to help some of the young women in the community learn new skills.
The Woodhall Basic School renovation project, which commenced in October 2005, was completed in March of this year. The work was carried out by Howard Construction Company Limited.
The community contributed a little more than $200,000 or 11 per cent of the project cost, which involved the provision of storage for construction material; clearing bushes, shrubs and undergrowth; providing an employment coordinator and labour; and the preparation, planning and provision of refreshment for both the sponsor signing and handing-over ceremonies.