Students at the St Andrew High School for Girls will have a modern, energy-efficient science lab when they return to classes in September, thanks to a $750,000 donation from the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ).
The PCJ's contribution, which was handed over at a school assembly recently, will help to kick-start a massive upgrading project at the educational institution. The project, which has an overall price tag of $30 million, will involve a complete overhaul of the school's science block.
In the first phase, which will be partially financed by the PCJ's donation, one of four labs will be refurbished, along with an adjoining staff area. The lab will be reconfigured with larger windows and other improvements to reduce energy consumption.
"The overall project is very ambitious but our existing science block was built in 1944 and we want to transform it into a modern facility," president of the St Andrew High School Foundation, Dr Deanna Ashley, explained.
"We want to create a green, energy-efficient environment that will be user-friendly and reinvigorate the students' interest in the sciences, and with the contributions from PCJ and other donors we can now begin the first phase of the renovations," she added.
Praises for all
Robert Boothe, the PCJ's manager, renewables and energy efficiency, praised the staff and alumni of St Andrew High for their efforts to improve conditions at the school, particularly with regard to energy efficiency.
"The PCJ is pleased to support St Andrew High's drive to become more energy efficient and also to foster greater interest in science among the students," he said.
"In carrying out our mandate to promote conservation and efficient energy use in Jamaica, an important target group is the youth, and we commend St Andrew High for exposing their students to these concepts and practices," Booth added.
The refurbishing work is scheduled to begin in early July when the school closes for the summer. It is anticipated that the renovations will be completed before classes resume in September.
CAPTION: Third-form students at the St Andrew High School for Girls (from right) Shanice Allen, Nasha-Monique Marshall and Kellsey Marsden, proudly display the cheque for $750,000 which was presented to the school by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica at a recent general assembly. The PCJ's manager, renewables and energy efficiency, Robert Boothe (left), and senior research officer, biofuels, Denise Tulloch, who is a past student of the school, made the presentation. The donation will help to finance renovations at the school's science lab. - Contributed