By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-A site for the new Basseterre High School has been selected, according to Education Minister Shawn Richards.
Speaking at a Prime Minister’s press conference on Wednesday Richards disclosed that a location in the Ponds Site area has been identified to house the school.
Previously Mr. Richards revealed that five sites had been identified for the as possible locations for the new school.
“Among those two sites you had two in the Ponds site area. One opposite the medical university in the Mattingly Area, a fourth site in Shadwell just as you past the roundabout heading into St. Peters and the fifth site being the old Basseterre High School,”he said.
He added that two of the most favored sites were one of the Ponds Area sites and the one at Shadwell.
“The site which we looked at in the Shadwell area we asked sustainable development to give some advice on it. That was requested due to the fact that you have a number of mechanics which have already been allocated lands at the very same sight,” he said.
Mr. Richards said the location at Shadwell was deemed inadequate and the Ponds Site area was agreed upon to house the school.
“The report coming back from sustainable development that it would cost the government some 1.1 million dollars to relocate the mechanics who are currently there. Additionally what we have heard from the architects is that because of the topography of the land there quite a significant amount of money would need to be spent to grade the land so that it can accommodate a new school. There were also concerns that it was in the flight path and disturbance from noise,” he said.
He added that the government is still doing assessments on the site and that it is unlikely construction would begin this years as previously promised.
“We will not be able to begin construction during the course of this year, but what we have sinced done is to put a committee in place and this committee is expected to meet the coming Friday to advise cabinet on the way forward with regards to the construction of the school,” he said.
Richards however reaffirmed his commitment to building a new school.
“What I can say we are still committed towards it and that is why we are being extremely diligent thus far and as persons are aware up until the end of this year we had some 10 million budgeted to start the construction. In ensuring we do a best a job as possible it took longer than we would have anticipated,” he declared.
Since taking office the Team unity Government has committed to constructing a modern day high school rplacing the current Basseterre High School site that was marred in controversy over students and teachers getting sick at the site.
Currently the school is located in temporary buildings on land just outside the Washington Archibald High in Taylors as well as in surrounding buildings in the area.