Plans are afoot for the construction of a secondary school, the first, in the constituency of East St George.
Finance Minister, Camillo Gonsalves recently announced funding for the project will be made possible through the recently approved funding from the Saudi Development Fund (SDF).
And according to him, a big part of that funding will go towards education.
“For the people of East St George, also inside that package that we signed is money for the first secondary school in that constituency,” Gonsalves said.
The proposed site for the school is Brighton he added, but he told ANN that he could not disclose an exact location for the project because the government was now completing negotiations for the purchase of two plots of land – one for the school and the other for a recreational park.
“I don’t want to announce the location until we have completed the purchases, lest any declaration affects the negotiation and process, we would prefer to complete an amicable negotiation as opposed to an acquisition for public purpose,” he explained.
The location of the project will however be revealed some time before the 2024 Budget debate begins, Gonsalves added.
According to Gonsalves, it was an important project seeing that East St George was such a large constituency with several primary schools.
But there were no secondary schools in that constituency, the finance minister and Parliamentary Representative for East St George said.
“And so, every day in the most populated constituency, there is an exodus of people leaving the constituency to go to town, to go to West St George, to go to St Clair Dacon, to go into Mespo and it was strange to me as a representative that we have the most people, and people say that you have so much people that it make sense to put the community college here, it make sense to have these private schools like the Sugar Mill Academy here, it makes sense to have these big primary schools, but there’s no secondary school in the constituency,” he said.
The money has been secured for the project, Gonsalves said and although the project is in the design phase, it is expected to begin in the coming year.
Of course, funding from the SDF is not solely for the construction of a secondary school in East St George as other schools throughout the nation are expected to be repaired and rehabilitated, where necessary.
Meanwhile, he spoke about some other projects in the constituency which included the construction of a polyclinic, a football field – in addition to the one being done in Ribishi and the construction of additional shops at Glen.
Regarding roadwork in the constituency, Gonsalves said that the designs for a road linking Brighton to Diamond have already been completed and costed and will be constructed under the National Road Rehabilitation Project (NRRP) in 2024.
He provided a brief update on the construction of hotels on the island saying that the Sandals Resort and the Holiday Inn will be ready in time for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Twenty20 World Cup, which will be hosted in the West Indies in 2024.
Gonsalves told ANN that the hotel subcommittee within the Ministry of Economic Planning met with the developers over the past week and was expected to be provided with updates and projections.
He also said that there were plans to start construction on the Marriott as construction on Sandals is completed.
“Because we are having trouble with enough labour and material – in-ocuntry – to do both at once,” Gonsalves told ANN.
“Already, Sandals and the port have had to start importing sand and aggregate, as well as some skilled labour,” he added.