Minister says Clifton Hunter completion ‘tight’
The scheduled 28 August start of the new school year for Clifton Hunter High School students is tentative at best.
Cayman Islands Education Minister Rolston Anglin explained that he would be getting an update on the status of whether the date will have to be moved to a later one for the new school, which is located at Frank Sound in Grand Cayman.
“Whether we can get in for 28 August is something I am waiting to get word on. Everything is on schedule for the construction, but we still need to get approval from planning. I had a meeting with contractors and construction management and it’s going to be tight; tighter than what I was told in July,” Mr. Anglin said.
He said that in the event that school did not get started on 28 August, the Ministry of Education would simply push back the date to a week later and make up the time over Christmas and Easter.
“Pushing back dates and making them up is something that has done before, though it is not ideal,” Mr. Anglin said.
Mr. Anglin said what remains to be done now is some inside tuning and inspections by the Cayman Islands Department of Planning. He said in terms of approval from the Planning Department, the scope of the schools and the sheer magnitude of the exercise was one of the challenges.
“How the buildings are spread out and the magnitude of the project means that it is going to take time. Personnel from the Planning Department were there over the weekend and have been working overtime to get the job done,” he said.
Mr. Anglin said he would be looking at a date next week to take the media on a tour of the new schools.
In order to facilitate a move to the new school’s Frank Sound site, the current Clifton Hunter High School location and John Gray High School, both in George Town, were closed on Friday, 22 June.
All schools were scheduled to close on 29 June for the summer; however, closing one week earlier allowed teachers to pack up classroom resources such as furniture and equipment for relocation to the new sites, said Education Ministry Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues.
At the time, she said this would assist everyone in getting ready for the start of the new school year in August.
In preparation for the completion of the Clifton Hunter High School at Frank Sound, the Department of Education Services has been working to accommodate the transition, which will see current Clifton Hunter High School students move to the new campus at Frank Sound; John Gray students being housed at the George Hicks Campus (where Clifton Hunter was last semester) while work continues on the new John Gray site; and Cayman Islands Further Education Centre students being housed at the present John Gray High School campus in order to allow the expansion of technical and vocational educational and training options.