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Rebirth! - St Jago aims to raise $275 million in five years

Published:Saturday | November 23, 2019 | 12:07 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer

Faced with a population that has outgrown the school’s capacity, the St Jago High School in Spanish Town, St Catherine, on Thursday launched its 275 Infrastructure Fund initiative, aimed at raising $275 million in the next five years to cater to the physical development of the 275-year-old school.

The fund presently consists of an initial sum of approximately $3.4 million dollars, comprising $2 million raised from a soft launch of the initiative on Sunday, $1 million donated by United Way of Jamaica, which was handed over by CEO Winsome Wilkins, $200,000 from NCB Spanish Town and a pledge of $275,000 from Mayor of Spanish Town Norman Scott.

RJR General Manager Claire Grant, a past student of St Jago High School, in launching the fund after recounting her days at the institution and describing a positive spirit that is felt on entering the compound, said, for the school to advance, it needs infrastructural development.

“We now need to have an Infrastructure Fund only, something that addresses the physical needs of the school,” she stated, pointing out the need for 12 additional classrooms, learning spaces, lecture theatres, sanitary spaces, plant security, extracurricular spaces, smart staff spaces, and sporting facilities.

modern transformation

She added: “What we are talking about is a rebirth, the new beginning which begins now! We want to transform Ravensworth to build a modern and respectable home for this 275-year-old brand; it’s not a school, it’s a brand, and it is something we must now spend the time to change,” Grant added.

She noted that the St Jago rebirth is symbolic and is extremely important to all the communities around Spanish Town.

“We know that it is the catalyst that can transform the region, we expect that as we transform St Jago, it will create a ripple effect that will impact the world, and this is why we must launch the St Jago 275 Fund,,” Grant declared.

Grant said the fund is sanctioned by the school board, which will give it continuity and oversight.

Meanwhile, Principal Collette Feurtado-Pryce, who supported the initiative, disclosed that the school which had a capacity of 1,200 students now has over 1,600 on roll and a staff complement of 150.