EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd.
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
EDUCATION Minister Jeffrey Lloyd announced on Friday about $m of school repairs will start soon at the Hugh Campbell Primary in Grand Bahama.
He stated financing has been approved for repair work to the school’s roof and to make the school more resilient to storms and natural disasters, such as earthquakes.
The institution sustained about four to five feet of flooding and its roof was severely compromised during Hurricane Dorian in early September 2019.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line also made a significant donation of $50,000 on Friday to the Ministry of Education to help with the restoration of the institution. Russell Benford, vice president of government relations, was present at the school and made the announcement.
Mr Lloyd thanked Royal Caribbean for its generous contribution to the school.
“This is one of the schools that was severely impacted, and it will receive our most immediate and urgent attention,” he said.
“Nearly one million dollars of repairs will commence here on this campus just about now, and it has already been approved. And I want to tell you how happy I am to make that announcement today,” he told students and teachers.
Mr Lloyd noted that Minister of State for Reconstruction Iram Lewis has received the scope of works for the school’s repair.
“We will tackle the roof, and because of the new mandate given… it would all be hurricane and now earthquake resilient,” he said.
He said that the government looks forward to its continued partnership and relationship with Royal Caribbean. He noted that the cruise line has been outstanding in terms of its assistance and support to this country for many years, and in its time of need following Hurricane Dorian.
“. . .The breeze had not yet subsided when your boats were offshore preparing and serving food —the most vital resource in that time of desperate need for our people. Not only that but you also, through your very considerable resources, built a kitchen so that feeding could continue,” Mr Lloyd said.
According to Mr Beckford, RCCL provided some 400,000 meals in the initial stages of the storm’s aftermath to people in Grand Bahama. Additionally, Mr Lloyd noted that the cruise line gave millions of dollars in supplies, material, and equipment, and much-needed medical supplies, as well as support from its staff in the aftermath.
In addition to the donation, Mr Lloyd commended the cruise line for also providing some 700 chairs and other equipment at the school including furniture and electrical equipment.
He called RCCL is a “true friend” of The Bahamas.
“We would be nothing without friends like RCCL. Today we owe a debt of gratitude to this great company, one who has been with us in our time of need,” he said.
The South Beach MP added that the government and people of Grand Bahama are looking forward to the proposed project at the Grand Lucayan resort by RCCL.
“We are partners and will be partners for life and we look forward to the completion of that magnificent project you mentioned, and we hope that will be a reality,” he said.
RCC and ITM signed a letter of intent (LoI) last May for the purchase of the Grand Lucayan resort for $65 million, and the redevelopment of the Freeport Harbour. Negotiations are still underway between RCC/ITM and the government.