Fri | Jul 3, 2020

New Fortress renovates Mitchell Town Primary

Published:Monday | June 1, 2020 | 12:30 AM
Mario Palmer, newly appointed principal of Mitchell Town Primary, examines the new concrete flooring with Gloria Kennedy, chairman of the board of directors of the school, in one of several classrooms that were dug up and resurfaced.
Mario Palmer, newly appointed principal of Mitchell Town Primary, examines the new concrete flooring with Gloria Kennedy, chairman of the board of directors of the school, in one of several classrooms that were dug up and resurfaced.

The Mitchell Town Primary School in Clarendon has undergone refurbishment at a cost of $11.3 million through the philanthropy of New Fortress Energy (NFE).

The energy company, which was founded by American businessman Wes Edens, overhauled the more than 60-year-old school in collaboration with administrators and the community.

Since the 1940s, Mitchell Town Primary School has directly served the bauxite community of Clarendon. Over the years, the school’s physical structure became dilapidated and in need of repairs.

After becoming aware of the need for facility repairs, NFE Foundation committed to fund the project in order to support education and the community’s development.

The renovation project included reconstructing and installing entirely new classrooms and offices, including replacing badly cracked walls, leaking or missing roofs, and windows.

The foundation also upgraded sanitation by installing new male and female bathrooms outfitted with new fixtures. Additionally, the project involved the construction of a new concrete tuck shop to replace the old wooden structure the school had before.

Students will also benefit from an entirely new surface for the assembly area and playground, new perimeter fencing and gate, and improved landscaping.

LIFT SPIRITS

Gloria Kennedy, chairman of the school’s board of directors, was overcome by emotion.

“This school holds so much history in Mitchell Town, and I have no doubt that it will not only lift the spirits of the students and teachers, but also the wider community,” Kennedy said.

“We cannot thank New Fortress Energy enough for restoring hope in our community and in the lives of our children.”

Similarly, Florizel Thompson, chairman of the Port Community Council in Mitchell Town, was overjoyed to see the school returning to being the beacon it once was in the community.

“This is indeed a historic moment for us thanks to NFE Foundation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Verona Carter, vice-president of public affairs at NFE, said that philanthrophy was embedded in the company’s DNA.

“This project is near and dear to us. The needs were so great, yet the school has remained so resolute with instilling the value of having a good education in their students,” Carter said.