Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Vere Technical Global Alumni Association member donates $2.8m truck to institution

Published:Saturday | July 31, 2021 | 12:05 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
Antoinette Banton-Ellis, principal of Vere Technical High School could not hide her excited. She said the donated truck will help to transport goods from the school’s farm and significantly reduce transportation costs at the institution.
Antoinette Banton-Ellis, principal of Vere Technical High School could not hide her excited. She said the donated truck will help to transport goods from the school’s farm and significantly reduce transportation costs at the institution.

The donation of a pick-up truck has ended a three-year wait at the Vere Technical High School in Clarendon.

The vehicle, valued at approximately $2.8 million, was donated by a member of the Vere Technical Global Alumni Association. Founding member Keith Simpson told The Gleaner that the over 200-member group has a mandate to solicit funds for various projects that will boost performance at the institution and offer support to students.

“There’s a list of projects that the school has, and there’s also a budgetary estimation that is done, so we have an idea of the list of projects and the amount of money that the project would cost. From there, we put that information [out] to our global group. The principal indicated that they had wanted the truck since 2018, and they have been trying various ways in which to acquire the truck, and they weren’t able to,” Simpson disclosed.

The school’s principal, Antoinette Banton-Ellis, said the vehicle would relieve the school of mounting transportation costs, especially in facilitating commercial activities at the institution’s farm. “When you have to consider how we will transport our goods [from the farm] and then with the expansion of the school farm, we figured from that initial stage in 2018 that it was vital that a pick-up truck become part of the school structure for us to be able to manoeuvre around and save some money to do other things for the students,” said Banton-Ellis.

Earlier this year, the school’s poultry project benefited from a US$12,000 boost courtesy of the global alumni association. “We are truly excited as a school. Many of the teachers cried up to yesterday (Monday) to how excited they were. They got very emotional to think that a past student could have single-handedly given us this pick-up truck that is much-needed for the institution. Especially because we are a technical school, we do quite a bit of [activity] here, and so we needed this pick-up truck to help us as much as possible,” she said.

Jerry Johnson, a member of the planning committee, told The Gleaner that a US$14 million project to upgrade the school’s gym is in the pipeline.

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