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Aug 17, 2016

Grace Primary School to Build Extension in Faber’s Road Area

A ground-breaking ceremony was held today on a three-acre plot of land on Faber’s Road extension. It is the construction site for an extension of Grace Primary School that will cost the government over half a million dollars. Funded through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank, the new school with cater to one hundred and fifty students from the area and will serve as a shelter in the event of a natural disaster. News Five’s Duane Moody was there and has this report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Grace Primary School will have a new home. The public school is currently located on Amara Avenue on the south side of Belize City, but back in 2003, the school acquired land in the Collet Division. Today, thirteen years later, ground was broken for construction works to begin on a three-acre plot of land on Faber’s Road Extension. The development is one of forty projects being overseen by the Social Investment Fund.

 

William Lamb Jr.

William Lamb Jr., Executive Director, SIF

“It has been a long time. 2012 to now has been a long time and in executing any of these projects takes time for whatsoever reasons, but we are very glad to be here today. We have a strict method of procurement to follow. If it is not followed correctly then that sum of money that we spend no longer becomes a loan, but then falls on the Government of Belize and SIF is there to ensure that it meets all the relevant requirements. We have worked closely with the Ministry of Education; the education sector is one of the major sectors that SIF works in and all over the country, including Belize City. We have been helping with classes and teacher training to better the lives of students and the learning experience for each individual from time to time.”

 

Education plays a critical role in the social, economic, cultural, environmental and political development of the country. And as such, the extension of Grace Primary School is being funded through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank at an estimated cost of five hundred and sixty-two thousand, three hundred dollars.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“This parcel of land, three acres, was granted to the school back in 2003, so that’s thirteen years ago. So for us today, this is a happy occasion; it is a great occasion for the people of Collet, also for the people of Grace Primary. As I mentioned in my remarks this morning, there is no hurricane shelter ion this portion of the Collet area; I believe the nearest hurricane shelter would be in Port Loyola, which is the Y—I am not even sure that the Y is suitable for a hurricane shelter. But that is where we are at in terms of this celebration. And as I mentioned right across the street there is a football field that needs developing and we are going to work quickly to develop that football field for the residents; it is a promise that I’ve long made to the residents of this part of my constituency.”

 

A single-storey, reinforced concrete building, complete with four classrooms, bathroom facilities, a teachers’ lavatory, administrative space, and an access ramp to accommodate students/visitors with diverse abilities, the school will cater to primary school aged children in the immediate area.

 

Patrick Faber

“This area of the city is fast growing. In fact with the introduction of the new bridge there and the new community that will come on the other side of the highway, this is an area that is very much in need of a school. In fact the government has plans if you recall when we spoke about those new schools that will be built, one of them will be built in the Gungulung area so we are suspecting that we will find a piece of land right near the bridge foot on that side to serve as well. But everybody knows that the children in this part of Belize City have to go all the way out; I think the nearest school may be Clara Muhammad School or St. John Vianney and that’s quite a distance from here. And given the number of children that live in this area, we have long wanted our own school in this area.”

 

Morna Sheppard

Morna Sheppard, Vice Principal, Grace Primary School

“We are so very thankful for each of you to participate in this very educational, memorable event. We thank you all for being a part of us and we hope that you’ll enjoy the new school that is here. If you look at the press release, it says that we will be catering to a hundred and fifty more children. So a hundred and fifty more children will benefit from the education that we try to provide for the people of our country, Belize.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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