Ministry prioritizes primary school development

| 08/06/2011

(CNS): Government has begun expanding and renovating four of the country’s primary schools in a $10 million project. Following the groundbreaking in April on a new classroom block in West Bay, where the work will be completed by Shoreway Construction, the ministry has more recently started work at George Town, Savannah and Bodden Town. Local firms McAlpine, Lalev Construction and Myles Construction have been awarded the jobs, which involve the addition of new wings at each of the schools. The minister also announced plans to start work soon on a fifth primary school, but so far there is no news on completion dates for the two high school projects.

Aging school structures, costly modular units and diminishing classroom space were the primary motivators for the project, the education minister said.

George Town Primary School will receive a 17,510 square-foot addition, which will include nine classrooms with self-contained storage and restrooms, in addition to a school library, five administrative-support spaces and an outdoor play area.

The 12,000 square-foot space earmarked for Savannah Primary will add eight new classrooms, also with self-contained storage and restrooms, and a library. At Bodden Town Primary, the new 5,300 square foot wing will add six classrooms, a school library and new administration office, while at West Bay primary construction has already started on a 5,300 square-foot additional school block with eight new classrooms.

Rolston Anglin said the upgrades were all part of his ministry’s strategic plan to further develop Cayman’s education product. 

“Most primary school classrooms are cramped, leaving teachers and students with even less space as the enrolmentnumbers increase each year,” he said. “These upgrades will both solve that problem and make provision for future growth. I believe they’ll make a huge impact on teaching and learning, at minimal cost.”

Anglin said the upgrades would also facilitate space needed for reintroduction of reception classes at primary schools, as well as the removal of all modular classroom units, the maintenance costs of which, he said, continue to spiral upwards.

Upgrading these schools is part of a larger ministry goal to address the needs of all primary schools. A new 2,700 square foot school hall has already been completed at East End Primary, and the minister announced the construction of a 6,600 square foot wing at the country’s newest public primary school at Prospect, where six classrooms will be added.

“Just after taking office I discovered that our facilities were impeding teaching and learning,” Minister Anglin noted. “We therefore developed a master plan for all our schools, ensuring that it factored in future population growth. The new facilities are designed to enhance the learning experience.

Meanwhile, the ministry has not given updates on when the two high school projects will be completed. Although the very same issues the minister cited as motivation for upgrading primary schools are plaguing the students at John Grey, there is still no news on the re-commencement of either that new campus or an opening date for the Clifton Hunter School at Frank Sound.

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  1. Anonymous-Young Caymanian says:

    I wish these stupid people would stop borrowing $$ to build more schools and other places before finishing one at a time. Look, they upped and desided we need 3 high schools. Started to build all and finished one(…I think) but left the others and they are yet to be finished. now the government want to borrowing more money to start building primary schools. What a mess! What stupid government we have and it's even worse now cause of our greedy "so-call-no-it-all-premier". For a knowledgable person. The man is old and fool!!

  2. Can only fool some ppl says:

    Nov 2001, Second Elected Member of West Bay, Rolston Anglin.

    A Founding member of the UDP party.

    2001 Manifesto listed EDUCATION as one of the TOP PRIORITY objectives.

    Nov 2001 to present = 10 years, 7 months.

    During this entire period, besides increasing the attendance burden on the infrastructure of an already bursting-to-the-seems schools by the status grants give-away in 2004, can someone try to convince me of what else has Rolston done to achieve his 2001 objective?????????

    The ONLY way that Rolston has come anything close to this is by being forced by way of being in the present ruling govt and find that he now has to continue with a school building project that was a #1 PRIORITY of the former govt.

    I can hear Bob Marley singing "promises is a comfort to a fool"……. and that's definitely not what we are………….don't go there!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anyone want to tell us where the private investor that was willing to redevelop the entire George Town Primary site disappeared to? Or was that meant to be a secret?


  4. Anonymous says:

    I never thought I'd see a horse with 5 asses, but alas, the beast is alive and present!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Please finish the Frank Sound School, my child is looking forward to going there.  

    I heard Rolston Anglin on the news today saying that the last government is to be blame for not planning for additional students.  Give me a break man.

    Let me tell you it was your UDP government who passed out all those status grants without thinking about the ripple effects when you was approving them. Simple as that Rolston.

    People am not against giving out status, it's the amount granted one time.

    Anyone notice that the private schools builded and add on to there old school too. 

    My2cents on this



  6. nauticalone says:

    What blatant hypocrisy!


  7. Anonymous says:

    who really agrees with the design of Alden's schools? give me a thumbs up if u do!

  8. Fiction is stranger than truth says:

    I am all for education having made sure that all of my children went to one of the best private schools on the island and  they all graduated from prestigeous unniversities abroad, all with bachelors degrees and some with masters.  What I don't understand is where Minister Anglin will put all the children who will leave the primary schools eventually when he is so resistant to finishing the high schools.  Will he revert to putting them under the trees like we had to do in the fifties and sixties except there are hardly any trees left. This government is so spiteful that they will cut off their own noses to spite their faces!!

  9. peter milburn says:

    I am sorry but I have to add my 2 cents worth on this.Would it not be better to concentrate on finishing the high school over at north side first THEN move to working on the other schools?To say I am a little confused by all these plans to add on or to build new schools is putting it mildly.Correct me if I heard wrong on this north side school.Didnt the minister say in words to the effect that fancy classrooms do not mean a better education for our children?But now in his last talk on one of the local radio shows that it was important for the children to be in nice surroundings and that was the reason for the groundbreaking at the school in west bay?Is this not a contradiction?

        I am VERY much in favour or doing what is right for our children but on the other hand why not get things done and out of the way before one tackles other projects especially since one hears that there is no money for expenditure at this time.?Lets keep politics out of the schools and our childrens education.

    • Anonymous says:

      Peter, are you sure they are not concentrating on finishing the High school at North side, then why are there 200 plus construction workers doing on that site, maybe they are just squatters.

      Did you see the condition of those cubical class rooms,our loving little darlings were cooped up in, with all the mold within the primary school.

      Maybe you taking Rolly's statement out of context, saying fancy class room and nice surroundings. They are two different meanings…give him a break, he is doing a fantastic job, with the economy the way it is, God bless him.

      I have all the faith in UDP, they will get the two high schools finished, and won't be  tearing down what the PPM started, they are not that childish.

      We have to realise that these two high schools are going to take over 80 to 100 million dollars more, to complete, as far as I know, 60 of the 155 million we just borrowed were allocated for the high school project…not enough to finish two, but it is better to at least get one of them finished.  

      In regards to the 10 million being earmarked for the 4 blocks of class rooms, 8 class rooms per block, for our 4  primary schools…money well spent..and the contracts to build them, are all going to local contractors.

      We keep asking where the money is coming from..since we are broke at the moment.

      The Cayman Islands Government has one of the most lucrative business, which  generates approximatly 500 million CI dollars a year.I wish i could tap in on some of their business.

    • Dey sey d wisemen went west says:

      u see, wa he reeeeeally means is dat d best is fi d west only.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Huh? So we are struggling to finish a school that has been said would be  completed in Sep this year but we are starting new projects all over the place.

    To me this reads vote fishing exercise and nothing else!

    When will you truly put the children of this country first? How can you people sleep at night?

    • Anonymous says:


      How did you expect to finish 150 million dollar worth of school construction in 8 months…be real man! UDP could have just not bothered with trying to finish the high schools.

      Remember since they took office, (2 years ago)we had to beg England to let us borrow some money to run our country, we are lucky, we never ended up having  to shut the  country down, for lack of money.

      These guys don't have to fish for votes, they already have a great track record…putting the Island back on its keel…you na see nothing yet…give them another year,and we will have more work, and our businesses going full speed, have faith my friend…Rolly is doing a great job, and I'm sure he sleeps well.

      Why do you think he flew all the way to moscow, to seek a way to advance our early childhood development program/education, and he cared for our little darlings, so much, he has now adapted the program and introduced it into our  education system, which is also imbraced  by most  large industralised countries. We want the best for our children.

      • Anonymous says:

        Spare me this garbage. There is all kind of other nonsens McKeeva approved such as the paving of roads in West Bay, the Brac and a lot more nonsense, none of which is a priority!

        The deadline of Sep 2011 wasn't set by me, this is what the current government announced when they started the job back up and it was idiotic to announce such completion day to begin with.

        Yes, they are DESPARATELY fishing for votes because they know unless they do something in the other districts they may win again is West Bay but there not getting back in in any of the other districts!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Only a retard with no sense of reasoning would start five schools and not try and finish the two that were begun.  Isn't this one of our so-call politicians running wild with Ideas.  There is no wonder or country is going to hell in a hand basket, if he is one of the captains.  Education without common sense isn'tcommon these days.  It is better to have good comnon sense, which is very well lacking in this insanse bunch of dumb bells.

    I wish for the day when all of us could see the sense in the stupid moves of this government.  They always manage to put the cart before the horse and no blinkers on it.


    • Anonymous says:

      The need for much more space has now become a priority based on the number of primary aged school children in the population.  George Town Primary School for one has been in desperate need of classroom space since Hurricane Ivan when they lost  some of their buildings.  Because of this, their enrollment has been cut by almost 70% with pupils having been sent to other primary schools. One of the exisiting classroom blocks had been plagued with mould for a while and the modular classrooms brought in has taken up a lot of space on that site, so much so that lunch time has been split among the school so that while one group is eating the next is playing. I therefore say a big thank you to the Minister for pushing on with this project. We want good grades yes, but we need the children to be in a healthy, comfortable environment in order to facilitate proper learning.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh! you hypocrites  can't give this one a thumb's up, or it is too positive for you.

        Try to understand why we had to build the new class rooms, they are for our children, to learn in a healthy and comfortable invironment.

        Did you all understand, the enrollment dropped 70% plauged by mould, or you just don't care, you just out to  bash the UDP, no matter what good they do…shame on you, you hypocrites

        Thank you Rolston, thank you 18:54 for making sense.

        • Swine says:

          Perhaps you should enroll in one of the primary schools when they finsih the modifications, i'm sure they will have an extra space for you in their spelling class.

  12. Anonymous says:

    As a government high school teacher (with the right to vote), I stare at one of the new (old) projects daily AND cannot understand why they have been slowly built to incompletion. Secondary education MUST be the priority. Please cut back on the projects BUT not the one I have been waiting for (since Professor Heppell/Mr Nair  showed colleagues and myself what secondary high school education should/could look like).

    We suffer with the nonsense quote "…not buildings" but, believe me, in this case, the buildings would make a difference to this provision for our youth and their future.

  13. Confucious says:

    I was told the PPM left us broke. Has this changed?

  14. senior citizen says:

    And to know if this was done by PPM, it would have cost us in the hundreds of millions.  I am not voting for the UDP and PPM party again.  Vote Jesus!  He is the only one for the people and by the people!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Prehaps they can add a nurses office and nurse for each government primary school as it would appear that not all have this…

  16. Anonymous says:

    What I am finding hard to understand is, Why in God's name is Rolston building these school, when the country is supposenly broke, according to them, because of Mr. McLaughlin's massive High schools projects?  Why not finish those High schools first, then turn the GHHS Campus into the much needed Technical Vocational School and then build the primary schools, especially the much needed West Bay Primary School?  I am one very confused Caymanian, as to why he is embarking on these projects now.  Is this mainly to put a UDP stamp on or is this just for political bragging rights?  On the other hand, what is he going to do about those very poor students that he pulled all those scholarships from?  The students originally signed a contract with the Government that there GPA should not go below 2.40/2.50 and during their contract they raised the GPA standards to 3.0, Is that NOT a breach of those students contract with Government? If those students cannot find funding elsewhere, what is going to happen to them?  Things that make you go Hmmmmm!

    • Swine says:

      He's doing it because he is a member of the senseless UDP Party.  They all have the same rationality, thats why they are working together…

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not about the children or what is best for the country silly! It is about future votes, get with the program:)!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Anglin said the upgrades would also facilitate space needed for reintroduction of reception classes at primary schools,……….

    So the UDP plan to reduce the Civil Service is by removing the pre-schools from the private sector and employing them as government teachers?

    Two more years. Wait, its now one year and eleven months. I'm starting to feel better already.

  18. Anonymous says:

    can someone tell me why it was so hard for Alden to design similar high schools to the picture above..if he did they would have been completed long time ago…



  19. CC says:

    Books not bricks!  Education Dept get your priorities in order.  Literacy, Vocational skills, and employable school-leavers….when that is on track, then give more building contracts to cronies.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can't put a big brass plaque with your name on it in a book but damn it looks good on a building.