In a recent statement to the House of Assembly, Minister for Education Honourable Sharie De Castro provided an update on the progress of the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) as it proceeds with several school improvement projects across the territory.

According to De Castro, works are moving along favourably and efficiently.

“I would like to convey my profound appreciation to the board of directors of the RDA and the professionals within the RDS and the ministry for their commitment and tireless effort in executing this project to what is clearly a very high standard…. the feats accomplished thus far in its execution is a testament to the will and drive of the Virgin Islands people to work with each other to accomplish great things and in this case for our most treasured resource, our young people”, she said.

In the case of the Elmore Stoutt High School, De Castro said that the RDA had already completed 70 percent of construction on the senior division classroom blocks.

De Castro said that the project “has progressed at a rapid pace since it began on 4th April of this year”. The facility, she said, “is composed of two classroom blocks, a specialised technical block and an administrative block … designed to the exact specification given to the RDA by the Ministry of Education.”

Despite speaking to the progress of the project, De Castro has not definitively confirmed whether or not works will be completed in time for the commencement of the new school year in early September.

In the case of the Jost Van Dyke Primary School, the minister says the improved facility is on stream to be functional within the next 18 months.

“I would like to also inform you that the Jost Van Dyke Primary School is in the final stages of the procurement process and that we expect within the next 18 months that the children of Jost Van Dyke will have a purpose-built facility to cater to their educational needs,” she said.

Meanwhile, the procurement process for the reconstruction of the Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre is ongoing.

The minister hopes that at the end of this project the territory would have commissioned a purpose-built facility, fit “to provide a safe and conducive learning environment for the differently abled persons” in the Territory. De Castro has promised to soon make a public statement on the details of this project.