JIS News

The government’s project to refurbish schools in Clarendon, which were affected by Hurricane Ivan, is far advanced, with work more than 90 per cent completed on nine of the 14 schools.
Omar Sweeney, Operations Manager at the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), which is implementing the project, told JIS News that work commenced last December on phase one of the project, which comprised John Austin, Portland Cottage and Main Ridge All-age; Milk River, Mitchell Town, Victoria and Alley Primary; Salt Savannah Primary and Infant and the Hope Basic.
“The Main Ridge All-age, Milk River, Mitchell Town, Alley and Victoria Primary and Salt Savannah Primary and Infant School and the Hope Basic schools are 98 per cent complete, the John Austin All-age is 95 per cent complete and the Portland Cottage All-age was 90 per cent complete,” he said.
Contracts totaling just about $12.2 million were awarded as a matter of priority to refurbished these schools, which experienced significant damage due to storm surges in the parish, he informed.
According to Mr. Sweeney reconstruction involved repairing of roofs buildings, replacing ceilings, installing hurricane straps and fascia boards, replacing and repairing windows and doors, electrical repairs, guttering of buildings, painting and general repairs.
Of the remaining five schools, he said that Faith Basic was 20 per cent complete, while work was still in progress at Chapelton and Sunbury All-age as well as Watsonton and Smithville Primary schools.
The 14 schools in Clarendon are part of a total of 47 institutions in central Jamaica, which will undergo reconstruction under the first phase of the project. The other parishes are Manchester, Clarendon, Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth.
Mr. Sweeny noted that in the second phase, 54 primary, basic, all-age, infant and junior high schools in all 14 parishes were expected to benefit.The work is being carried out by the Office of National Reconstruction (ONR), through funding from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the government of Jamaica.

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