The newly refurbished and expanded primary-level institution, St David’s Catholic School, was handed over during a ceremony on Thursday, 4 January at the school’s compound.
Prime Minister Hon. Dickon Mitchell cut the ribbon to open the facility, along with Education Minister Sen. the Hon. David Andrew, Principal Nicole Baptiste, and a student. Minister Andrew then presented the keys to the principal.
The refurbishment and expansion of the school cost almost EC$4.1 million and was undertaken by Sonrise Construction JV Inc. Work began in August 2022 and was completed in December 2023.
Managing Director Desmond John thanked Government for the successful collaboration and detailed the scope of work, saying, “It was the renovation of 3 existing buildings, namely the upper classroom block, lower classroom block and kindergarten building — all in derelict condition, the demolition of the existing timber storage building and construction of a gazebo in its place, the construction of a new, 2-storey administrative building, divided into principal’s office with bathrooms, secretary area, staffroom, kitchenette and toilet. External work included erecting a perimeter fence; vehicular and pedestrian access gate; covered, paved walkways; curbs; external stairs, drains, stormwater disposal.”
Other work included masonry and concrete repairs to many areas; repairs to the steel building frame; replacement of roofing; replacement of all windows with hurricane-rated aluminium louvred windows; installation of a new electrical system; installation of new folding partitions; replacement of doors with new fire-rated metal doors; installation of all new toilet ware; the refurbishment and tiling of all floors and general painting of the school.
The principal of the St David’s Catholic School is elated to return to improved surroundings. “Everyone in attendance should be happy that this lovely building is now complete, because it will have a significant impact on how our boys and girls develop intellectually and professionally. Seeing this amazing construction, from the inside out, gives me a great sense of satisfaction, and I know that everyone here must also feel proud and satisfied with a job well done,” Baptiste said, the school’s new infrastructure would never have been possible without the support of the Government of Grenada, and, for that, we are wholeheartedly thankful.”
Hon. Dickon Mitchell, Parliamentary Representative for St David, whom school officials acknowledged as playing a pivotal role in the smooth execution of the project, expressed content with the successful conclusion of the project. Hon. Mitchell said he expects 2024 to be a good year for the St David’s Catholic School, describing it as a symbol of community togetherness, strength and resilience. He also commended the support of the community during the refurbishment process.
“I was very fortunate to be educated at this institution and some of my teachers are still here with us today and some of them are actually still teaching,” Hon. Mitchell said, informing students how fortunate they are to have exceptional teachers and a significantly improved environment in which to enjoy their educational journey. He asked students to care for the facilities and to remind parents to play an active role in their education.
To the community, the Prime Minister said, “Thank you to all of you for the support. I look forward to continuing to work with you, to ensure that we continue to build our schools, build our communities, so that the next generation of Grenadians can remember their schooling as warmly as I remember mine.”
The Minister for Education said that Prime Minister Mitchell, who is also the Minister for Infrastructure “engaged the relevant contractors and personnel to implement structures that can preventively maintain the school, so that it does not deteriorate.”
He said, “It’s our commitment, under the leadership of our Prime Minister and the MP for this constituency and a government that is genuinely interested in education and transformation through education, to ensure that we engage in preventative maintenance.”
Secretary of the Catholic Education Board of Management Maria Viechweg expressed appreciation to the Government of Grenada and other stakeholders.
She said, “It is our expectation that these new environs will serve as a breath of fresh air to motivate anyone who uses it to higher achievements.”
Ministry of Education