Up to 1,000 students can be accommodated in the newly reconstructed Golden Grove Secondary School, which was officially handed over yesterday.
According to a release that was issued yesterday by the Region Four administration, in the new school year, students of the school will benefit from an enhanced, modernised, all-inclusive learning environment.
It noted that the capacity of the new building is over two times the size of the old building, which could accommodate 400 students.
The new building will not only accommodate the students in a more spacious environment, but it is also expected to ease overcrowding from three other schools, the region’s Regional Education Officer (REdO) Tiffany Favourite-Harvey reportedly said.
The new building also comes equipped with an elevator, making the institution the second school in the country with such a facility. A Home Economics lab and a modernised Science lab also form part of the new facilities.
It was stated that contractor Ivor Allen, of Ivor Allen Contracting Services, handed over the keys to the new building yesterday to Regional Executive Officer (REO) Pauline Lucas in the presence of Favourite-Harvey and the school’s Headmistress, Dolores Benjamin.
The total cost to construct the school was $170, 203,347 and it was funded by the Government of Guyana.
The REdO reportedly noted that the new facilities will foster an all-inclusive learning environment for students, with the elevator also catering for those with disabilities. She said that being a person with a disability should not hinder access to learning opportunities.
“Some parents in the past have expressed concerns over the facilities that their children with [disabilities] had to be using, however with this elevator and enhanced facilities, I am confident that these parents would be happy to know that their children can [learn] in an equal environment,” the REdO stated.
Similar sentiments were said to have been shared by the school’s head teacher.
“We are happy as we are an all-inclusive school. We have catered for those with physical disabilities as we believe that education should be an equal opportunity and I trust that those students who have physical disabilities would seek to maximise the opportunities that this new elevator will provide,” Benjamin said.
Favourite-Harvey shared hopes that with the REO’s support, similar facilities will also be included in the construction of other schools within the region.
“I can say that our present REO is a firm believer of equal opportunities for everyone, that this wouldn’t be the only school in Region Four that would have an elevator as more schools that are being constructed may be fitted with similar features,” she stated.
The release said Allen related that over 90% of those involved in the school’s construction were members of the Golden Grove community, having stated that the company “wanted to ensure that the community benefited in more ways than one.”
Allen said that the crew was happy with the finished product and that he was “overwhelmed” to know that the REO and others were impressed with their work.
“When we first started I thought that we were embarking on an impossible task as the area identified was a complete swamp. However, as time progressed and with due diligence, we soon realised that it was a project that we can complete timely and of great quality,” Allen said.
The release stated that the REO expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done and thanked Allen for having it completed within a timely manner.
“There is no doubt that the quality and standard of work here is certainly very high, I am very impressed and this is the kind of work that makes us at the Region very happy and proud that contractors executing projects are doing it to the highest possible standards,” she said.