Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 11, 2016 (SKNIS): Appearing on Wednesday’s edition of “Working for You”, on August 10, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Honourable Shawn Richards said that the Government of National Unity is working tirelessly to ensure that the students of Basseterre High School receive a brand new school, one that will not only boast modern amenities, but will be at an ideal location.
The minister referred to the recent “Discussions for Prosperity” town hall meeting where he gave a comprehensive update as to where the government is in terms of the building the new school.
“As I said then, there were five different sites which were noted as options,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. “A committee had been put together to determine the suitability of those five sites. They ranked all of the sites and coming out of that we put a next committee together because two of the sites would have certain impact on the environment, especially if we are looking at our water resource in particular.”
The deputy prime minister said that in being very careful and trying to ensure that the government consults all of the different stakeholders to get the best of advice, a committee of water experts was put together. That committee has since then given its report where the committee ranked the sites in order of preference for a school, taking into consideration a number of different factors including proximity, disturbance from the airport, relocating a number of mechanics, building on an area designated as the Basseterre Valley National Park, which is also the location of an aquifer, and psychological issues which may arise even if the old school is knocked down and rebuilt.
Since then, he has provided the permanent secretary in sustainable development with a copy of the report to get further feedback. He said that he and the permanent secretary engaged in conversation and there is a report which she told him he can expect to receive.
“Upon receipt of that report, Cabinet will then be in a position to have some further deliberations and make a final recommendation as to the site for Basseterre High School,” said the education minister. “We have given a commitment that we expect construction to begin during the start of this fiscal year. We are still committed to that and I say to the persons here in St. Kitts and Nevis that yes the process may appear to be a bit lengthy but at the end of the day we are ensuring that when we do build a school we give not just the students the best high school, but in terms of the general population of St. Kitts and Nevis, we give to them a school which is located in what is determined to be the best area taking into consideration all of the different factors.”