George Hicks High divided

A six foot fence is about to be put up at George Hicks High School to divide the campus.

Education Minister Alden McLaughlin said Friday at a Cabinet press briefing he had been focusing on getting schools ready for September and on the management of 1,200 students on the George Hicks site.

After several meetings it had been decided to divide the arts block from the main campus, he said.

There would be two start times at the school, at 8am and 10am and finishing times of 2.15pm to 2.30pm and 4.15pm to 4.30pm.

They were also securing the use of the Family Life Centre, which has 10 classrooms, and the arrangement would allow them to operate with a maximum of 600 students on either site at any given time, he explained.

The arrangement had the support of the senior management at the school and the approval of the parents, Mr. McLaughlin told the briefing.

There were some logistical difficulties but there was confidence they would be resolved, he added.

The reduced number of students would allow the education process to proceed with less tension and less stress on the teachers.

People did not realise how much stress and pressure the teachers had been under for a long time, he said.

Additional staff would be needed and so a further five teachers would be recruited, he told the briefing.

Turning to the subject of John Gray High School, Mr. McLaughlin said the hall had been seriously damaged by Hurricane Ivan.

After careful consideration it had been decided to have it demolished.

Officials were in the US inspecting a modular canteen to be ready for use in September, he said.

They were also looking at some new portable classrooms. There had been several problems with some in use and discussions were taking place to have the problems remedied, he explained.

Four new units were being looked at, one of which would hopefully be used as temporary housing for the Bodden Town library.

They were pushing to get the Bodden Town library building repaired and when that was done, it would serve as a temporary hurricane shelter until a better arrangement could be made, he added.

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