Students of Salina Point, Acklins will, in less than a year, get a new primary school that can also function as a hurricane shelter, Minister of Works and Utilities the Hon. Bradley Roberts said.
“This is another example of the government responding to the needs of the community through its school expansion programme in the majority of schools in New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands, including Acklins,” the Minister told a press conference, Friday, January 26.
Also in attending were Minister of Education, Science and Technology, the Hon. Alfred Sears; Minister of Local Government and Consumer Affairs and MP for the MICAL constituency the Hon. V. Alfred Gray; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Creswell Sturrup; Acting Permanent Secretary, Maxwell Poitier; Director of Ministry of Works, Melanie Roach and Building Contractor Kevin Styles.
Kevin Styles Construction Company submitted the winning bid of $2.8 million to beat out five other contractors from the Acklins region to build the school. It will accommodate 150 students. The present facility holds 35 students.
The 22,042 square feet new school will include three classrooms, a science lab, a music room, an administration area, air-conditioned offices, a teachers lounge, kitchen, secretary’s office and general waiting area, Mr. Roberts said.
The interior of the buildings will contain acoustic ceiling tiles, storage cabinets, ceramic floor tiles and ceiling fans will be placed in all of the classrooms. The outside windows will be made of heavy duty aluminium and all doors will be of steel for greater durability.
The school will also be complimented with a 400 metre track, a softball field, a basketball court with benches and bleachers, and an enclosed area for garbage disposal.
Senior Architect Ashward Ferguson at the Ministry of Works developed the architectural drawings for the school. Mr. Ferguson and other technical officers will administer the contract, Mr. Roberts explained.
The school is being built “because of Mr. Gray’s passion for the people of the MICAL Constituency.
“(Mr Gray) is a representative who continuously speaks with a great deal of passion for his constituents ”
Mr. Gray said the people of MICAL, “have always been put second place in the efforts of governments past, and I vowed that if I had been given the opportunity to represent them in Parliament…I would not stop until equity is brought to them as it has been given to so many other islands before.
“Perhaps that is why I work so hard because we are so far behind; we have got a lot of catching up to do. So when you hear me cry, plead and scream, it is because I have five islands that are all in the same condition and I do not intend to stop,” Mr Gray said.