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St. Dominic's R.C. fire but students to be accommodated for school's reopening

Sunday, August 14, 2011 10:43 PM

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Photo: MP Denis Lett (left) and MP Joseph Gilbert at the scene of the fire at St. Dominic’s R.C. School  St. George’s, August 14, 2011 – Parents and teachers of the St. Dominic’s Roman Catholic School in Laura Land, St. David, are soon expected to meet to further assess the loss and damage from a weekend fire at the school.

The fire, which occurred at about 2 p.m. Saturday, destroyed a junior section of the school comprising four Grade 6 classrooms and the kindergarten department.

The cause of the blaze has not yet been officially determined by investigators of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF). However, some reports suggest that the fire may have started in an area close to the main electrical panel inside the affected building.

Shortly after news of the fire broke, the scene was visited by the principal and teachers of the school, as well as dozens of concerned area residents such as prominent physician, Dr. George Mitchell, Senior Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health.

They were joined by officials of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, including Minister Franka Bernadine; and by Agriculture Minister Denis Lett and Works Minister and MP for St. Patrick West, Joseph Gilbert.

Hon. Lett, who is MP for St. David, said indications are that a Parent Teachers’ Association meeting is being planned for this week.

In the fire, the school lost furniture as well as teaching aids and hundreds of books, including many relating to the school leaving Common Entrance Examination.

“It is a sad situation for all of us, especially the students and teachers,’’ MP Lett said. “These are tough financial times but the government will make its best efforts to do the necessary repairs and rebuilding in the shortest possible period.’’

According to Minister Gilbert, the cost of restoration work could run into the millions of dollars.

“An overall assessment of the damage caused by the fire will be conducted by a technical team from the Ministry of Works as soon as the all-clear is given by the RGPF to enter the fire-ravaged building,’’ Hon. Gilbert promised.

The ruling National Democratic Congress, through Public Relations Officer Arley Gill, also issued a statement in which the party commended the quick response to the fire by police officers, as well as by the area MP and other officials of the government and the NDC.

“The RGPF must be praised for their prompt response and for containing the fire in quick time,’’ said Senator Gill.

He added that “as a party and a government, we remain committed to providing the best quality education and facilities to the nation’s children. We will assist, in whatever way we can, in ensuring that the junior section of St. Dominic’s R.C. is restored and fully functional again.’’

A new school year for Grenada’s primary and secondary school students, who are on vacation, begins next month. The Education Minister is determined that the children of St. Dominic’s R.C. will be among students nationwide returning to their classrooms in a few weeks.

“The situation at the school will be evaluated as a matter of urgency and a decision will be made within a couple of days with regard to accommodating the affected classes for the new school term which starts in September,’’ Sen. Bernadine said.

It is believed that the fire-hit classrooms could to be afforded space within the unaffected buildings on the school’s compound.


 

 

 

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