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Ground was broken yesterday (December 11), for the construction of a shift shelter and an auditorium at the Hayes Primary and Junior High School in Clarendon.Funding for the project is being provided through a grant of US$15,000.00 from the Alcoa Foundation.
The cheque was handed over to the Principal of the school, Mark Nicely, by Managing Director of JAMALCo, Alberto Fabrini, at the ground-breaking ceremony.Bringing greetings at the function, Mr. Fabrini said that JAMALCo was happy to assist, because the school’s vision fitted in the Foundation’s goal of “providing assistance to communities in locations where Alcoa has business”.
He said the company’s concern for the safety of the children also led to the decision taken by the Management to erect the shift shelter.
In his remarks, Mr. Nicely said the auditorium would be used for ceremonies, indoor sporting activities, community events and as a “holding area” for students attending the afternoon sessions. The school, which operates a two-shift system, has a population of 2,016 students in grades one to 10.
“With this auditorium, many of our problems will be solved. We will reduce the problem of overcrowding in our classrooms, address the safety issue of students outside our school wall, offer indoor sports, canteen facility and the community will benefit by hiring it for functions,” he added.
Mr. Nicely said that currently students are forced to wait outside the school premises when they arrive early for classes on the afternoon shift.
“This is a safety concern for students, teachers, parents, pedestrians, vehicular traffic and other members of the community, since the school’s perimeter is adjacent to the busy Hayes main road,” he said.
The Principal also spoke of plans to offer literacy classes and skills training workshops at the auditorium outside of the school’s operating hours. He said the school would also offer classes in wood and metal work, information technology and cosmetology to community members.