The Recovery and Development Agency and the Ministry of Education recently held a “Pre Construction Community Meeting” with members of the Jost Van Dyke Community, to discuss updates and address concerns from members of the public regarding the impending construction of the Jost Van Dyke Primary School & Multipurpose Educational Facility.

Director of Programme Strategy for the RDA, Dr Neil Smith delivered opening remarks, during which he emphasised and despite this development being widely labelled a school construction project, what the RDA hopes to deliver will be of even greater value to the community than a school alone.

“What we are discussing today is not just a school, but a multifunction facility that is intended to serve the entire Jost Van Dyke community”, he said.

Minister for Education and Culture, Honourable Sharie deCastro shared similar sentiments regarding the major impact the completed facility is expected to have on the community. In thanking the residents for their patience with local authorities in bringing the project to reality, deCastro said, “I know that this project is a long time in coming and the community is looking forward to seeing the ground start to be dug up so that we could actually see progress being done… I believe we have come to a very good point in this project”.

According to projections from Smith, construction teams are expected to begin work on the site within the next few weeks. While this may seem like a short wait, Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Melvin Turnbull reminded that this project is something that he, and residents of Jost Van Dyke have advocated for over years.

Welcoming the progress, Turnbull expressed his excitement in saying “This day is here, where we are one step closer to this project that I have been beckoning and bellowing and crying and fighting for on behalf of you, the people of Jost Van Dyke for 7 years”.

The Jost Van Dyke Primary School & Multipurpose Educational Facility will encompass 13 classrooms, a science lab, a computer lab, a music room, a staff room, kitchen, bathroom facilities, principal’s office, storage rooms, a learning resource centre and 75 thousand-gallon cistern capacity.

In addition to serving as a school, the facility will also be used as a recreational space and a meeting location for community activities.