North Siders want better use of school

Clifton Hunter High School could have evening classes, residents say

Citing problems with youth and unemployment, North Side residents have agreed to work on a proposal to government for evening classes at the Clifton Hunter High School on Frank Sound Road. 

At the monthly meeting of the North Side District Council last Thursday night, a small but vocal group questioned why the modern facilities of the school, which opened in September 2012, were limited to daytime use by school-age students. 

District council president Maxine Bodden Robinson began the discussion by noting, “We have an unemployment issue in this district. We need to see how we can assist with job placement.”  

A related concern, she said, was how to use the high school. She pointed out that residents did not even know how the school could be accessed as a hurricane shelter. 

Bo Miller suggested that young people beyond school age should benefit from the site. “They’re not going to UCCI; you have to bring UCCI to them,” he said, referring to the University College of the Cayman Islands in George Town. 

The Clifton Hunter High School “should be educating every unemployed person east of Savannah,” he said.  

Teddie Ebanks listed the school’s facilities that could be used for evening classes, including a mechanics shop, a woodwork shop and state-of-the-art kitchens. 

District MLA Ezzard Miller referred to the sports facilities on campus, including a swimming pool that people were being asked to pay an exorbitant sum to use. 

He said he had approached education authorities on his own in the past, but a group approach would have more impact. “Bring your ideas to the next meeting. Let’s put together a proposal and take it to government,” he urged. “We want the opportunity to use these facilities.”  

The concept of continuing education was in fact promoted by Premier Alden McLaughlin, who is a former Minister for Education. At the school’s ground-breaking ceremony in September 2007, he stated, “Beyond campus boundaries, our new model for education ensures that these campuses will also serve the needs of the wider community, in the spirit of building life-long learning to these islands, which is so critical to our success.” 

North Side residents will meet again on Feb. 26 to work on their proposal for expanded school use. Other matters to pursue include a district Meals on Wheels program, road works, a new council constitution, continued beach cleanups by prisoners and requests for funding in the next government budget. 

Ms. Robinson invited everyone to talk to each other via a newly established website at nscouncil.com and the Facebook page North Side District Council. 

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