West Bay primary to be reconstructed in phases

| 20/04/2011

(CNS):Government has revealed that the Sir John A Cumber primary school in West Bay will eventually be completely rebuilt. The education minister said that rather than adding classrooms, the goal was to reconstruct the old site one phase at a time. Rolston Anglin stated that while teachers are the most important element in a child’s education, there came a time when the facilities also needed to be improved and the ministry’s goal was to remove all of the modular classrooms across from all primary school campuses and replace them with new facilities. He said the $10 million primary revamp project, which was passed by the LA in last year’s budget, was starting in West Bay but would soon move to George Town and Savannah.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for the first block, which is being built at the school in West Bay, the minister, a former pupil there, told the children that everything that was being done at the school was because people wanted the best for them.

The minister followed the premier, who was also at the event in his own constituency. McKeeva Bush revealed he had attended the forerunner to the John A Cumber but remembered when the then new primary school had been built. He noted that no one would have imagined that the school would reach its current 500 students some forty years on.

The premier reminisced about his school days, telling the children that, as small as they were, he hoped they realized how lucky they were. When he was in school, Bush told them, there was no air-conditioning, no computers, not even a library and teachers were sometimes forced to take two classes at a time. He said everyone wanted them to do well and although they were small they needed to start making good choices about what they did and who with, as he advised them to choose their friends carefully.

Bush said he was delighted that his government was now able to address the space problems and had found the money for the project to renovate the islands’ primary campuses.

He said this first the new block in West Bay would add eight classrooms to the school and was going to be home to the new reception class when the programme started, as well as special education programmes.

With the primary population already standing at 2,500 across the islands and still growing, Anglin said in the current economic climate government had to be wise about how it found solutions for managing primary education and renovating the schools. He said the long term master-plan that was now in place for addressing the primary school redevelopment offered the solution of meeting both immediate and long term needs with the phasing of development.

Local firm Shoreway Construction will be building the new school block and the minister said he looked forward to the project coming in on time and under budget. The new block will be sited where the school playground is situated but the premier was at pains to stress it would be relocated as he and his fellow West Bay MLAs got out the shovels and broke ground. 

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  1. petermilburn says:

    Seems to me that finishing the other 2 high schools would make far more sense right now.If not we are going to have 3 schools incomplete by the time the hurricane season rolls around again.The West Bay school looks fine and I am sure that it will still get done in a timely matter just not now.Ralston I know you mean well but really now!!!!!If you can find the money for this then use it to finish the other two FIRST!!!!.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This looks like the Oxford dictionary’s definition of scatter-brained that is ” unable to undertake serious and concentrated thought ” !!! For Christs sake lets get a national development plan and stick to it. That is what we used to do between 1968 and 1976 where we built The GlassHouse schools, the dock , the Parliament and Courts Buildings roads etc but the difference is it was planned and financed properly when we had money. Times have changes and we don’t have the money we used to have, so we have to prioritise as they say cut the suit to the cloth that we have. We cannot afford to do everything at once otherwise there is no room to criticise the PPM. I agree with previous posters finish the high schools first as the first priority then decide on the next priority irrespective as to which district it is in. Otherwise it will continue to look like a knee jerk reaction.

  3. Anonymous says:

    $10.0 million will grow to $15.0

  4. Anonymous says:

    Note the last paragraph of the article, “on time and under budget” – that is a laugh.. they must be high on something.. I am sure that the $10.0 million will go to $15 million.
    Question: what is teh experince of teh persons doing the budgets and advising the Government? Precare Cayman for another fiasco.

  5. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    It’s all politricks!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Let me guess… another nine million dollar boondoggle; perhaps because some of the children are too hot and others are too cool.

    Government spending is halted for the next two months but money was somehow found to build a new school in the Premier’s district.

    It’s all over for the Cayman Islands folks.  You might as well kiss your butts goodbye.


  7. Anonymous says:

    Finish the blasted high schools and if you’re going to work on the primary schools, I think George Town is in a much worse state than West Bay. West Bay has one of the best primary schools. Our high schoolers are the ones who need it. John Gray is like a construction site and absolute chaos as far as teaching is concerned. What a mess. Just to undo the good that Alden did for the schools. I agree the designs could have been more conservative but I think he was doing it with the right intentions.

  8. Tell Me Again says:

    Tell me again what percentage of the population lives in George Town and then further explain to me why the re-development/ rebuilding of the George Town Primary School is yet to commence.



  9. anonymous says:

    Rolston and McKeeva, why don’t you finish the high schools first? Where did the money come from for these schools? Yes, I agree JACP needs more space, but finish the high schools first. You guys wants everything for West Bay eh? New patched and lined roads…oh no, that don’t look good, lets get Mark Scotland to pave the roads over, what a waste of money…..and you talk about PPM?

  10. anon says:

    “Found the Money”where from?

    • Anon says:

      They are going to build new schools but they dont have the money to finish the ones that are already half constructed? They have to be smoking something…

    • west bayer says:

      12.54 good question,hope you get your answer.because as i fully remember we were broke an busted some 18 mths ago.but all of a sudden we have alot of money to play with.