PR – The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture officially handed over the newly refurbished and expanded Grenada SDA Comprehensive School in Mt. Rose, St Patrick on June 22, 2023.
“I’m looking forward to September, when we can be together in one place, with one focus, more settled, in more comfortable surroundings and we are very, very grateful, to have received this gift,” Principal of the school, Kimlyn De Coteau, said. “Coming in here, looking at the surroundings, knowing that this is where you are going to work, should be a motivator.”
The EC $8.3 million project is titled The Expansion and Refurbishment of the Grenada SDA Comprehensive School. It was funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government of Grenada under phase one of the Grenada Education Enhancement Project. Work began on the school on July 21, 2021.
The principal, teachers and students cited that their main challenges prior to the upgrade were a lack of space, particularly lab space for the science subjects. Principal, Kimlyn De Coteau thanked the Government of Grenada, the Caribbean Development Bank and all other stakeholders for realising the upgrade.
Johnny Noel, head of the school’s technical departmentsaid “We are very happy to know that we have everything we need in order to get the job done effectively in the subject area.”
Samuel Roberts a Form 4 student, also said, “From September I really look forward to enjoying the labs, because we really needed it this term and the previous terms. We have SBAs to be completed.”
The engineer for the project was Dwayne Noel of VIKAB Engineering Consultants Ltd. and the contractor was Kenny’s Trucking and Equipment Services Ltd. The improvements for the ground floor of block A, the existing building, include a refurbished and repurposed Home Economics room; Food and Nutrition room; classroom; vice principal’s office and guidance counsellor’s office. The library, original staffroom and computer lab were refurbished but remain in their previous locations. Upstairs, the eight existing classrooms and timber stage were all refurbished, with the stage being demolished and rebuilt. The doors and windows were replaced along with the handrails and the roof structure.
In the new block – block B – a two-storey, L-shaped, reinforced concrete building was constructed facing the main road. At the ground floor level, there is one classroom; a Textiles, Clothing and Fashion room; a multipurpose lab and a building technology lab. On the first floor of the new block there is an administration section with a staffroom, principal’s office and secretary’s office; a technical drawing lab and a multipurpose lab. Each technical space includes a teacher’s office and storeroom, with the multipurpose lab being equipped with living material storage and a preparation room.
Principal, De Coteau said the school has not only gained significant lab space, an extra classroom, a Family and Resource Management room and a new kitchen, but will now offer the subject Clothing and Textiles, which many students have been awaiting. With a staff of 25, the new staffroom can now house all teachers, instead of just 10.
“The new rooms have come with a teacher’s room, so now we would have a spread of the staff and that, I think, would be a very good thing in terms of management of the children,” De Coteau said.
Noel noted that the new wing provides the opportunity to adequately house the computers to deliver content such as the AutoCAD programme for technical drawing, with ample space and workbenches to allow for group work and to prevent overcrowding.
Past teacher, Horace Persaud, who taught at the school for more than 25 years, said “We only had sixteen workstations. Now, I checked one lab has eighteen and at least 30 students could work in the other lab. So, I’m happy, especially for the science department.”
Everyone is pleased with the refurbished toilets, tuck-shop facilities and air-conditioned labs. Minister for Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Sen. the Hon. David Andrew complimented the principal and staff for enduring the tough times with grace and thanked the contractor for the high quality of work produced. “We are happy to see that the former administration saw it fit to embark on this project and we are quite happy, as an incoming Government, to see it come to fruition,” Hon. Andrew said. “The real value is in the quality of educational output that this results in.”
In his remarks, Manager of the Grenada SDA Comprehensive School, Clinton Lewis, Ph.D., said, “The rehabilitation and expansion of this school – the Grenada SDA Comprehensive – has been a dream and a burning desire of ours for many years. As we experience the handing over of this facility today, we rejoice, and we give thanks for this very unique experience.”
Parliamentary Representative for St. Patrick East Hon. Dennis Cornwall urged students to take advantage of the new facilities, and assured that the Government of Grenada will, in time, provide the necessary improvements, by way of a playing field and resource centre.