GROUND WAS broken at Cornwall College, Montego Bay last Thursday for the construction of a chapel set to cost J$20 million.
The project is being led by the Tampa Chapter (Florida) of the Cornwall College Old Boys' Association, which is acting on the dream of Deacon Fred McLeod and Dr Albert McGhan, both Cornwall College old boys, who are based in Florida.
Principal, Denham McIntyre, said it was a welcome addition to the campus saying that all great institutions have chapels, and that it would enhance the work of the chaplain, the Reverend Kenroy Salter, at the institution.
"One should have been here long ago. This Christian chapel we hope, among other things, adds substantial dimension and value to the school's chaplaincy programme, provides an operation base for our chaplain, and inspires confidence in small intimate reflective religious activities and rites."
President of the Tampa Chapter of the Cornwall College Old Boys' Association, Dr Cecil Aird, said they have already secured some funding, and Elaine Commissiong, communications and business consultant and owner of CARA Communications Limited, has been engaged to spearhead fund-raising efforts in Jamaica.
"We have US$28,000 in the bank in the US now. We are hoping to raise enough money to purchase all of the building materials from Home Depot at heavily discounted rates, and we are hoping that this will run between US$50 and US$60,000, and with the exemption that we would get as a school, we would not have to pay duty."
He said, however, that if the material is available at a better price locally, then they would opt to purchase the material in Jamaica.
The chapel will be approximately 1,870 square feet and will house a secretary's office, chaplain's office, and restroom and will be able to seat about 75 persons.
"We find that a number of the students attending the school have no father. It stands to reason that there is the potential for behavioural problems, so we are hoping that the boys may be able to go and sit and talk with the chaplain and receive some advice and guidance. In addition, we hope to develop a music programme, and all this will serve to inspire the students to greatness."
Member of Parliament for Central St James Lloyd B. Smith said he was committed to making a donation to the project from his Constituency Development Fund.
He also suggested that visitors to the island be encouraged to visit the chapel indicating that it could also serve an income-generating purpose.
Construction is expected to begin in January next year and should be completed within three months.