Pt Cumana parents happy with classes at St Peter’s
Saturday, June 16 2012
Archbishop of Port-of-Spain Joseph Harris met Thursday evening with members of the Pt Cumana RC Primary School at the nearby St Peter’s RC Church on Constabulary Street, Carenage, to inform them about agreements made between himself and Education Minister, Dr Tim Gopeesingh, during a private meeting earlier that day.
“The meeting went very well. The parents said they are happy with the temporary accommodation we arranged at St Peter’s (Church) for the remaining three weeks of school. They are concerned however, about what is going to happen come September, since we still have to identify a suitable location for the new school year,” Harris said in a phone interview yesterday.
He also told Newsday the Catholic Church may not have to continue its 20-year search for land on which to build a new school because a civil engineer who inspected the structurally unsound school building, located on Bellerand Street, Carenage, said it may be feasible to repair the building.
“Eric Marcellin is a civil engineer and contractor who has done plenty of work for me, so I trust his opinion. He visited the school on Tuesday (June 12) and told me he thinks we can repair the school. However, Archbishop Harris cautioned, “Mr Marcellin is not a structural engineer and told me the final decision on whether to repair or rebuild would depend on the assessment of a structural engineer.”
The Pt Cumana RC School was ordered closed on May 23, after it was declared structurally unsound by officials from the Education Facilities Company Limited (EFCL). A solution appeared to have been found when RC students were told they would share the Pt Cumana Government Primary School this past Monday, the co-sharing began. However, a myriad of problems later led to a meeting being arranged on Monday evening with Gopeesingh, parents, students, members of the Catholic Education Board and MP for the area Dr Keith Rowley.
The idea of a merger was strongly rejected by Harris and parents of the RC students, with the Archbishop even warning of a legal response if the merger went ahead.
On Tuesday, the staff and students relocated to the compound of St Peter’s RC Church. The younger students are being accommodated inside the church while the Standards Three, Four and Five students will attend class on the upper floor of the adjacent two-storey parish hall, known as Lync Hall.
One of the teachers told Newsday yesterday the EFCL was expected this weekend to install additional fluorescent lights and electrical outlets in the church and the parish hall, as well as deliver some cupboards, desks and a few portable toilets. There is one toilet inside the church and six in Lync Hall.