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August 4, 2014
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Austin Primary, Bethlehem All Age to be upgraded

Problems such as chunks of ceiling falling during class and animals wandering on to the school premises should soon be things of the past at Austin Primary school in Myersville, St Elizabeth.

Better conditions are also coming to Bethlehem All Age School in Malvern in the parish.

Both schools will be upgraded under the Community Investment Project implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and funded by the Caribbean Development Bank. Staff and other stakeholders in both communities recently signed on the dotted line for the start of the projects.

Works planned for Bethlehem include construction of a sanitation block for infants, 200m of fencing of the immediate school property; rehabilitation of roof and replacement of windows and the provision of folding partitions for classrooms. The total cost of the upgrade is $11,180,562.75 with $10 million from JSIF and the remainder in community contribution. Direct beneficiaries will be 38 boys and 19 girls in the infant department as well as 308 students from the primary school.

In Myersville, 131 staff and students will directly benefit under the rehabilitation costing $17.59 million, including JSIF cost of $16.06 million and community contribution of $1.54 million.

This project will include the installation of perimeter fencing, removable partitions for classrooms; repairs to the roof of the existing building and upgrade of existing space for a library. Works are expected to be completed in three months. As well as improving the learning environment, the upgrades will also address the critical problem of safety.

The community contribution is expected to include provision of storage for materials during construction; provision of security for materials during construction; venue for meetings, ceremonies etc; and provision of liaison officers for works.

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