By anguillian October 16, 2017 11:13




Long before the advent of, and devastation by, Hurricane Irma, the Government of Anguilla had conceived plans to rebuild, replace or relocate a number of the island’s ageing school buildings. When Irma struck on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, and severely damaged the schools, those plans were hastened and, although unfortunate, the situation presented an opportunity to embark on such an urgent course of action.
So far, there have been three demolitions. The last were some eight buildings at Campus A of the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School, leaving the once congested area completely flattened and packed as if the buildings were never there. The buildings housed such facilities as the offices of the Principal, Deputy Principal and Bursar; Staff Rooms A and B; Mathematics Staff Room; Maths Lab and Maths Classes; Geography and History Rooms; Modern Languages; the Theatre Arts Classroom and the two Gazebos. These demolitions are expected to assist the Government in speeding up its Master Plan to construct a new purpose built campus there. With the above demolitions, a shift system for students has been put into effect at Campus B, the main accommodation area, as well as the remaining buildings at Campus A.

The other demolitions were two buildings at The Valley Primary School – resulting in the students and teachers being housed in the remaining structures; and two buildings at the Adrian T. Hazell Primary School where the now occupied buildings are the repaired auditorium, as well as the classroom block built more than a year ago as the first of three phases. Now that Hurricane Irma has wrecked the two school buildings there, it is an appropriate time to concentrate on building phases two and three.

At East End, the badly-damaged Morris Vanterpool School was abandoned and its students relocated on Monday, October 9, the date on which all the primary schools reopened. The new location of all the Morris Vanterpool School’s classrooms is at three apartment buildings now being rented by Government from East End businessman and contractor Mr. James “Lewis” Hodge. Located just across the road from FLOW Anguilla’s telecommunications sub-station, the new school compound occupies a commanding position in the area and will be there for one year in the first instance. It is hoped that by that time the Morris Vanterpool School will be rebuilt.

The relocation of the school attracted much interest among parents and other members of the East End community. Among those attending the reopening ceremony were a number of Government officials. The welcome remarks were delivered mainly by the Principal, Mr. Michael Skellekie. He cautioned the students to take care of the rented premises – and spoke about various regulations regarding their safety and welfare and the functioning of the school. He highly commended the teachers for attractively transforming the rooms of the apartment buildings into normal classroom settings, and the parents for their support. According to him, the school has a roll of 125 students including some from the Central Baptist Christian School and the Alwyn Allison Richardson School.

The Principal was supported in his remarks by a number of other speakers. They were Governor Tim Foy, OBE; Minister of Education, Mrs. Cora Richardson-Hodge; Ministerial Assistant, Mrs. Evalie Bradley; Permanent Secretary, Education, Dr. Bonnie Richardson-Lake; and Chief Education Officer, Mrs. Rhonda Connor.

The other damaged primary schools, which also reopened on Monday, October 9, were the Vivien Vanterpool School where parents are calling for the building of a new school; the Orealia Kelly School; and the Alwyn Allison Richardson School.

By anguillian October 16, 2017 11:13


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