JIS: The new $51-million structure, built to replace the Campbell’s Castle Primary School in Manchester, is being welcomed by students, teachers and the wider school community.

 

The two-storey building comprises four classrooms, a computer laboratory, principal’s office, staff room, bathrooms, a storeroom, and other facilities to serve the small student population.

 

Prefect at the school, Javelle Hewitt, told JIS News that the “dream of a new school has come true”.

 

He said that students are comfortable with the improved environment. “Every teacher and student is very pleased,” Javelle said, adding that with the fencing of the compound, the school no longer has to contend with stray animals.

 

Another student, Rihanna Mullings, said the school “feels better and there are new classrooms, new furniture, and more space to play”.

 

She expressed gratitude to all those who made the project a reality.

 

Principal of the institution, Petagaye Campbell, noted that “this project has positively impacted the entire school community. The edifice has lifted the students and community and has brought pride to all”.

 

She said that with the additional space provided, “the possibility for innovation is limitless”.

 

Meanwhile, Chairman of the school Board, Maureen Tomlinson, urged the community to take ownership of the institution.

 

“Once you take ownership of the school, there is no abuse and there is no vandalism, so we are calling on the community of Campbell’s Castle to take charge of your school,” she said.

 

For her part, President of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), Camille Gregory Hall, pledged that the body “will take care of this building, because we have been longing for this”.

 

“I will definitely work with the principal, the staff, the children and the community to ensure its protection,” she added.

 

The school building project was undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information through the National Education Trust (NET).

 

The Government of Japan donated $13 million through its Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security initiative, which provides grants for community development projects across various sectors.

 

CAPTION: Students perform a cultural item at the official opening of the new Campbell’s Castle Primary School building in Manchester, which was constructed at a cost of $51 million. Seated (from left) are Director of Donor and Partnership Management, National Education Trust (NET), Latoya Harris; Member of Parliament for South Manchester, Michael Stewart; Advisor at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Howard Chamberlain; Japan's Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Hiromasa Yamazaki; and Principal of the school, Petagaye Campbell.