Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Grange Hill High loses hopes for field upgrade

Published:Saturday | October 18, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The playing field at Grange Hill High School in Westmoreland is not good enough for remedial work, which has forced the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) to relocate an upgrading project from the school to the community.

Denzil Wilks, managing director of the SDF, said that, instead of upgrading the school's field, attention will be placed on developing a field in Bell Isle, the community where the school is located.

"The facility at the school is not good enough for the upgrading and so what we have to do is a community field where the community and the school will share the field," Wilks told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday.

The SDF boss was being pressed by members of parliament who wanted answers about the focus which is being placed on ensuring sports development in rural areas. He said that the high-school development infrastructure programme represents a concerted effort to improve rural areas.

He said that, having encountered that problem at Grange Hill, the SDF met with the community which gave its input on how to proceed.

The then Grange Hill Secondary School was built in 1967 to accommodate 810 students. The school is built on three acres of land which was provided by the West Indies Sugar Company Limited, part of which was used as a tutorial farm.

23 SCHOOLS TO BENEFIT

Some 23 schools are to benefit from the programmes in the first two years of the project, and work has started in two schools - Calabar and Tarrant - both in the Corporate Area.

"There are two other projects that are under tender, one is the Bog Walk High School and the other one is the Paul Bogle High School," Wilks reported.

Onika Miller, permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, where the SDF falls, said that, in determining the beneficiaries, the best-performing and worst-performing schools are selected as well as the schools in the sugar belt.

Dr Dayton Campbell, the MP for North West St Ann, has suggested that the SDF consider amending its high-school development infrastructure programme to focus on schools by region.

"If you have a talented youngster in St Ann, he may not necessarily fall into one of the top schools or one of the worse-performing schools, and he may not have the facilities," Campbell, a one-time fast bowler, suggested.