Over 1,600 students, teachers and support staff at the Windward Road Primary and Junior High School, East Kingston, are to benefit from a $21 million upgrading project funded by the European Union (EU).
The project falls funded under Phase II of the EU’s Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP II), and will involve the construction of three classrooms and repairs to the roof of an adjoining block.
Representatives of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the EU Delegation in Jamaica, on Wednesday November 17, signed contracts for the project at the school. The work, which is being implemented by JSIF, will be executed over the next four months by Alcar Construction and Haulage Company Limited.
Head, European Union Delegation in Jamaica, Ambassador Marco Alemanni (second right), Member of Parliament for East Kingston and Port Royal, Phillip Paulwell (right) and Board member, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Prudence Kidd-Deans (second left), sign contracts for the $21 million upgrading project at the Windward Road Primary and Junior High School, at the institution on Wednesday November 17. Seated at right is Councillor for the Norman Gardens division, Angella Brown Burke: Standing from left are: Secretary, Rockfort Development Committee, Latoya Blackwood; Principal, Windward Primary and Junior High School, Norman Malcolm; Procurement Officer, JSIF, Dawn Allison; Chairman of the School’s Board, Paul Burke; Kingston’s Mayor, Councillor Desmond McKenzie, guest speaker at the function; and Vice Chairman of the School’s Board, Silvera Castro.
Approximately 75 per cent of the financing, just over $16 million, is being provided through EU grant funding. The remaining 25 per cent, just over $6 million, is being provided through contributions and input from residents and other interests in the community of Rockfort, where the school situated. Their input will include the provision of electricity and water for the construction works, security for materials as well as equipment and landscaping.
In a brief address, EU Delegation Head, Ambassador Marco Alemanni, said their assistance to the school was aimed at assisting the students to blossom into productive adults, adding “I know they can make it.they just need a little bit of help”.
JSIF Board member, Prudence Kidd-Deans, said the Fund’s input into projects such as this, is in recognition of the importance education plays in youth development.
In thanking the EU for their input, Mrs. Kidd-Deans pointed out that JSIF, through its Projects Committee, has stressed the need for contractors to execute projects expeditiously, within budget and according to specifications.
Kingston’s Mayor, Councillor Desmond McKenzie (third right) and Head, European Union Delegation in Jamaica, Ambassador Marco Alemanni (second right) examine plans for upgrading works at the Windward Road Primary and Junior High School, East Kingston, with from left: the School’s Principal, Norman Malcolm; Board Member, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Prudence Kidd-Deans; Managing Director, Alcar Construction and Haulage Company Limited, Junior Leslie; and Vice Chairman of the School’s Board, Silvera Castro, following the signing of contracts for the project at the institution on Wednesday November 17.
“That is a requirement of JSIF, and I’m happy to hear that the contractors, among others, are doing this work as JSIF would have had it,” she stated.
Guest speaker, Kingston’s Mayor, Councillor Desmond McKenzie, in expressing gratitude to the EU and JSIF, said the Windward Primary and Junior High School has been a “household” name on Jamaica’s educational landscape, pointing out that many outstanding Jamaicans have passed through the gates of the institution.
Mayor McKenzie urged residents of the community to help advance the institution’s development, while commending the board and staff on their management of the school.
“There are not many schools that you can walk into and it’s a breath of fresh air. What this environment has offered, is one where the students can come and be comfortable. Most importantly, it is offering the teachers, and the staff who support the teachers, an environment so that they can teach in peace and harmony,” he said.
The Windward Road Primary and Junior High School serves students drawn, primarily, from the Rockfort, Norman Gardens, Rennock Lodge, Wareika Hills and Johnson Town communities.