What’s in store for Castries Comprehensive?
Lately there have been several rumours bruited about concerning the future of the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School. Located in Vide Bouteille, alongside of the Castries-Gros Islet highway, the school doors opened in 1974. Recently talk has been circulating that the school would be relocated in the interests of private investors. As Prime Minister Allen Chastanet made his way to Tuesday’s House meeting, reporters brought up the subject. This is how he responded: “With the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School, the evaluation is that we would have to spend in excess of $13 million to repair it. It is in very bad shape. The million-dollar question becomes, if you are literally going to be building a new school, and knowing what we know today, would you build it in that location? So that’s the evaluation that government is undertaking.”
In addition to the issue of repair costs, there was also the matter of location, location, location. Said the prime minister: “The fact is, the school is on beach property and the site also has problems with traffic and safety concerns for the students. There is the option of possibly moving the Castries Comprehensive School, but nothing has been decided. I certainly think it would be irresponsible of my government if we didn’t give it due consideration.”
He played down suggestions that family ties to the school’s present location would have any impact. “Whether my father or my father-in-law owns the lands has never been a factor,” the PM insisted. “They’ve owned the land for a very, very long time.” He said an analysis would precede any decision.
“The ministry of education will be undertaking this evaluation and I look forward to their presentation to Cabinet.”
For her part, the education minister Gale Rigobert considers the evaluation necessary for several reasons. She told the “To be considered is the age of the school, the level of deterioration and our own strategic direction regarding the establishment of smart schools.” A smart school, she explained, is one that is technology smart, energy smart, climate smart and caters for persons with disabilities.”
She says that the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School is a good candidate to become a smart school but there have also been preliminary discussions on the Micoud and Soufriere Secondary Schools. “Whatever direction we take, it can only be borne out of consultation and engagement.”
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet says rumours concerning the immediate future of the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School are both premature and without foundation.