Canouan to have a  modern school campus by September 2019
September 14, 2018
Canouan to have a modern school campus by September 2019

A joint venture between investor Andrea Pignataro and the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines will see the construction of a modern school campus on Canouan.

The new campus, which, according to a release from Canouan Resorts Development Holdings (CRDH) Limited, will include a new public primary school and a secondary school, is expected to be completed in time for the start of the new school year in September 2019.

“The joint venture between these significant partners in this endeavour has resulted in the children of Canouan being the beneficiaries of a New Public Primary School, a Library and Computer Lab, an Auditorium, Canteen, and most important the much wished for Secondary School, all of which will be located in a modern School Campus at Grand Bay, Canouan, current site of the Canouan Government School. The teachers were not left out; they will receive new modern offices to work from,” a release from a representative of the CRDH said.

Canouan Resorts Development Holdings (CRDH) Limited is owned by Pignataro.

The modern school campus will also house the relocated Pelican Primary School and the Coral Reef Pre-school, both privately run institutions.

These projects will roll out over a period of 18 months.

Following the opening of new public primary school and the secondary school by September 2019, the original primary school building will be renovated to house an auditorium, canteen, and teachers’ offices. This final phase of the project is expected to be ready by 2020.

“CRDH Ltd with the support of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines is very happy to be able to offer to the people of Canouan their biggest wish, secondary schooling for all children, the future leaders of the nation. The Canouan school campus is being funded and donated to the people of Canouan by CRDH Ltd.,” the release said.

The release from CRDH comes amidst an injunction from the court blocking the Glossy Bay Marina Limited (GBML) from removing the privately run Pelican Primary School and the Coral Reef Preschool from its premises, at least until next Wednesday September 19.

The schools are located on lands belonging to Dermot Desmond and GBML and were built by the CRDH when both companies had an amicable relationship.

A falling out between the entities was followed by a request for the school to be moved, but to date, this had not happened. But now, GBML is demanding that the schools be removed to facilitate further development at the marina site.

The demands of GBML have taken on greater urgency recently with rock slides from a hill next to the marina’s fuel tanks. It is claimed that the marina wishes to relocate the fuel tanks to where the marina’s offices are, while the offices are to be moved to the area being occupied by the schools.

On Thursday, lawyer for CRDH Joseph Delves told SEARCHLIGHT that both parties went to court on Tuesday and GBML applied to set aside the ex parte injunction, but that was refused.

Delves said that the matter was adjourned to next Wednesday when both parties will provide arguments.

On Wednesday, protesters on Canouan asked the government to get involved in the matter as according to them, GBML was looking at slowing down work at the marina site, a decision that would leave several workers on the breadline. Activist Terry Bynoe said that GBML management told workers of plans to cut 30 per cent of the work force from each department. About 200 Vincentians work with GBML and Bynoe said that workers are awaiting letters to know if they will be severed.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said last week that the government’s only involvement with the private schools is to ensure the basic standards are maintained (syllabus and accreditation) under the law. He added however that the government can adequately provide schooling at the public school for the 30 primary school students affected by the impasse.