Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Like many other aspects of life in Jamaica, it is not uncommon to witness great performances from our young sports stars, then everyone basks in their glory. Often, a look at the humble preparations would leave you amazed. The same is true of the Corinaldi Avenue Primary School in Montego Bay.
This hidden giant of a school has made its name as a true leader in the area of academics, the performing arts, and sports, being for many years the standard-bearers in the west in multiple sporting disciplines such as football, netball, cricket, and track and field -- all honed under very humble circumstances.
All that is to be changed soon as ground was broken on Monday for a $30-million multi-purpose auditorium, to be located on the school's compound.
Lloyd B. Smith, Member of Parliament for Central St James and also a former student, urged greater support from the community as he pledged $2 million dollars from the Constituency Development Fund towards the project.
"Corinaldi needs it," he said, speaking of financial support. "They deserve it and will get it.
"Wherever I go, I will bat for you," he said of the school's fundraising drive to come up with the huge sum.
For principal, Cynthia Munroe, it was a welcome and overdue move.
"We are blessed to have produced some of the best young sports stars under trying means, and now that this multi-purpose facility is to be constructed, it means that our dominance will continue," said Mrs. Munroe.
A number of western Jamaica's best-known footballers received their primary education at the famous school, including current national goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and his brothers Daniel, better known as 'Cup Head'. Daniel, and Devon (all national players), among a host of others.
3 years to complete
The project will take three years for completion, and at the end of the building process, the school will have a spanking new facility at which to host matches for netball and other hard-court sporting activities, in addition to giving students enough covered space for rehearsals in the various performing arts, as well as a venue for several school functions such as prize-giving and school-leaving exercises.
Apart from netball, the facility will also be fitted with a basketball court, among other amenities.
"It will be a great addition to what we will be able to achieve here," said Munroe. "All our students and teachers will have a comfortable environment in which to hone their skills for the respective competitions."
Corinaldi are the reigning girls' champions of the 2013 Western Primary Athletics Championship and 2013 national Under-13 football champions, among others things. Significantly, this poses an unmatched record of winning seven consecutive Jamaica Public Service Under-12 netball titles.