Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Clean-up starts on ‘lot of hell’ - Abandoned land in downtown Kingston being given a facelift

Published:Sunday | July 10, 2016 | 7:00 AM
Workmen clearing the open lot between East Street and Johns Lane in downtown Kingston which has been making life hellish for students of nearby schools.
An unofficial garbage dump which had been created in the open lot just behind the St Aloysius Primary School in downtown Kingston.
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Days after The Sunday Gleaner first reported on the 'lot of hell' which is making life brutish for students, teachers, and administrators of the St Aloysius Primary School in downtown Kingston, work has begun to clear the area.

But there is still no word on what will be done over the long term to address the issue.

Efforts to get a comment from several state officials were unsuccessful last week, while the administrators at the school continued to hope that they will be allowed to acquire the property.

The abandoned lot is used as a dump, a bathroom for some homeless people and a bedroom for some sex workers.

For years, the St Aloysius school community has been dealing with the stench of human faeces, dead animals, and smoke rising from burning debris in the hellhole which is bordered by Johns Lane, Sutton Street, and East Street.

Principal of St Aloysius Primary, Althea Palmer, has suggested that the property would serve better as an extended playground for students from her school and the nearby St Joseph's Infant and St George's Girls' Primary and Infant School.

At these institutions, administrators have opted to hold sports day for the infants on a road next to the school because they do not have a playground.

Palmer has written to several state agencies seeking their intervention, without success.

The Ministry of Justice has claimed that the original intent for the site was to construct a new Traffic Coroners Court.

However, it later claimed that the property is to be developed as a parking area for persons attending the nearby Corporate Area Civil Court (Sutton Street).

But so far, no timetable has been announced for this development.

corey.robinson@gleanerjm.com