The students, teachers and parents of Hope Academy are on a mission to build a sustainable green school and is calling on residents to help with that vision.
“This whole process isn’t about making money. We are not doing this an economic venture, this is about creating a sustainable future for the Cayman Islands,” said Dean of Students Will Doran.
The consultation process for the project has begun and the school is asking residents with a passion for the environment, architectural skills, and any green experience to become a part of the project.
According to Mr. Doran, if possible, the school will be built using only local resources. “We really want to make this a Caymanian venture. We’re going to be sorting if we can we do it on island – we have iron shore, we have lots of plastic bottles …,” he said, adding that sand can be used in plastic bottles to make bricks.
The school’s annual fun day fair held on June 13 brought in a large group of vendors and the school’s Parent Teacher Association managed to raise more than $3,000 towards the building project. President of the school’s Parent Teacher Association Michelle Whitney said, “It was a successful event, lots of kids turned out, had fun playing the games and we had a bunch of vendors signing people up for summer camps.”
“Cayman is not very big, and we don’t have a lot of space to put the garbage. My kids are Caymanian and I want them to live in a beautiful Cayman, not a place where the first thing tourists see is a pile of garbage,” she added. The idea of an eco-friendly school first came to light when a student spoke up during a weekly student council meeting, according to Mr. Doran.
“At the heart of this whole idea is the process of listening to our students,” said Mr. Doran.
He added, “Concern about the environment is something that is often expressed by our children and when Caymanian children are concerned about the future of their island and the effect that we as a people are having on that island environment, I believe it to be wise to listen.” Mr. Doran said he wants the building project to be “a beacon for mainstream education” and would like the new school to include energy saving air conditioning, a green screen television room, and cutting edge technology.
“If we can create a collaboration of people that are working towards this project for all the right reasons, then it will become unstoppable,” said Mr. Doran. “We want to invite every member of our community to get involved with this as an international exemplar of environmentally friendly education.”
A public meeting will be held for those looking to get involved on Wednesday, July 9, starting at 6 p.m. at the Hope Academy school hall in Grand Harbour.