The building was officially opened in an impressive ceremony at the school, held on Friday 25th January.
The ceremony was ably chaired by Delroy RAS IROY Pinney, who established the protocols for the day and warmly welcomed all present.
The invocation was delivered by Pastor Joseph Morton and the national anthem was rendered by some of the students at the school.
Former Director at the disbanded BNTF office, which supervised the project and now Director at the Sustainable Development Unit, Mr. Alsted Pemberton, gave a comprehensive overview of the project.
Three construction agencies submitted bids: Blake’s Construction; Strong Joint Construction and United Construction.
Strong Joint Construction won the bid and work commenced on February 6th 2017 and was due to be completed in 10 weeks’ time at a projected cost of $257,202.00.
Due to certain unforeseen circumstances, this was later extended to 13 weeks at a cost of $264,211.53.
A memorandum of understanding was later signed by the Ministry of Education, which was responsible for providing the furniture for the building and the Ministry of Communications and Works, which was responsible for overseeing the work.
The building aspect of the project was completed in May 2017; the procurement of furniture and installation of cupboards, was completed in September 2018 and the final non BNTF aspect of the project, was completed in January 2019, at a total cost of $336,953.46, which was mainly funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), through the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), with a sizeable input from the Nevis Island Administration as well.
The completed building will not only be used for its original intention of a lunch room, but also provides the capacity as a meeting and training room.
He pointed out that the children previously ate their lunches on the corridors of the school, which was neither convenient nor comfortable.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Kevin Barrett, added his voice to the proceedings and lauded Headmistress Violet Clarke for her vision and drive, in ensuring that the cafeteria became a reality for the school.
He noted that it was collaborative effort and thanked all of the individuals and entities that assisted in completing the structure.
An elated Minister of Community Development, Hon. Eric Evelyn, was quick to point out that the acquisition of the cafeteria for the school, fitted in nicely with the United Nations’ established sustainable development goals and stated that goals 3 and 4 spoke to good health and wellbeing and quality education.
He stated: ‘People cannot learn properly if they are not properly fed. As an administration, we are integrating in all we do –this school is not left behind. You are just as important to the development of Nevis.’
The students at the school then thrilled the sizeable audience with a dance; a skit and the well-known chorus ‘Thanks.’
The Contractor, Mr. James Hendrickson of STRONG JOINT CONSTRUCTION, then handed over the keys to Minister Evelyn, who in turn handed them over to Mr. Barrett, who in turn handed them over to Mrs. Violet Clarke.
The building was then officially blessed by Pastor Joseph Morton and the ribbon was cut by Mrs. Clarke, ably assisted by Min. Evelyn.
The many persons present, then had an opportunity to tour the impressive building and later enjoyed snacks, utilizing the new furniture