JIS News

A contract valued at more than $8 million was signed yesterday (February 17) between the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the Unity Primary and Infant School Past Students’ Association for expansion of the institution, which is located in Lawrence Tavern, rural St. Andrew.
Construction work, which began on February 7 by Dilcon Construction Company Limited, should be completed within the next four months.
The project involves the building of two classrooms for the infant department and sanitary conveniences. In addition, the primary department will be renovated.
As part of the conditions for approval of funding, the community will contribute a minimum of 11 per cent of the cost of the project. This include the relocation expense for classes during rehabilitation, demolition and disposal of debris, construction of a chain link fence, security and storage, provision of a watchman, and the cost for ceremonies and site meetings.
At the signing ceremony held at the school, Vice President of the Association, Stacey Bey said that the idea to expand the school building was the brainchild of the association, formed some four years ago. She pointed out that members, headed by President Stanley Ferguson, wrote to the JSIF asking for assistance to renovate the school.
She said that parents, teachers and community members were very happy that JSIF had agreed to refurbish the school and install modern sanitary conveniences, so that students would no longer have to use pit latrines.
“We are happy for what is unfolding today, but we are quite aware that the bulk of the task is still ahead of us,” Miss Bey said.
In his presentation, Operations Manager at JSIF, Omar Sweeney said that since the inception of the Fund, 132 projects in the parish have been approved by the JSIF Board.
“This represents an investment of approximately $396 million, as the Fund continues its drive of empowering communities and building national capacity with the aim of promoting social development,” he said.
He pointed out that the bulk of the investment went towards rehabilitating, equipping and constructing basic, primary and all-age schools. “In fact, over$211 million has been invested in this sector, which is critical if our nation is to survive,” he added.

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