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Officials and students who have classes in the new building take part in the official ribbon cutting. Government officials from left to right: Minister for Tourism Hon. Cline Glidden Jr., JP, SJACPS Principal Mr. Joseph Wallace, Chief Education Officer Mrs. Shirley Wahler, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education Hon. Rolston Anglin, JP, Minister for Health Hon. Mark Scotland, JP and Chief Officer of Education Mrs. Mary Rodrigues.

Published 8th March 2013, 10:56am

On Wednesday February 27th, 2013 the final of the new school buildings constructed under the Ministry of Education’s Primary Schools Expansion Project was opened at Sir John A. Cumber Primary School (SJACPS). The official ceremony was a wonderful celebration which took place before a packed crowd that included all four West Bay MLAs: Hon Rolston Anglin, JP, Hon. Cline Glidden Jr., JP, Hon. W. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP and Captain Eugene Ebanks, JP. The ceremony involved many of the SJACPS students, including the school’s amazing choir which beautifully showcased the diversity of the students.

The new building that was celebrated adds 10,710 square feet of learning space to the country’s largest primary school. It consists of 8 new 780 square foot classrooms, each with their own restroom and storeroom. Each classroom also has an interactive whiteboard and 26 linear feet of cabinets to maximize storage space of teaching materials.

Other important features of the building include infrastructure for an intercom and a fully functioning intruder alarm system. It also has a wheelchair elevator for students with special needs and has been constructed to withstand up to a category 3 hurricane.

Along with the new building, a fully covered walkway was built to connect the building with the existing school, a children’s playground has been reinstated and all modular classrooms that were on site have now been removed.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education Hon. Rolston Anglin, JP, who officially opened the building with his Cabinet colleagues Minister for Tourism Hon. Cline Glidden Jr., JP and Minister for Health Hon. Mark Scotland, JP, was thankful to everyone involved in making the new building a reality. He said, “I would like to thank everyone involved in this project, especially the Ministry of Education Team, the Public Works Department who were the project managers and created the architectural designs, the contractor Shoreway Builders and all the subcontractors who brought this building to fruition. I would also like to thank all the Sir John A. Cumber staff for their patience and commitment to getting the new building up and running.”

The Minister continued, “This building cost approximately $2.7 million to complete but is invaluable in terms of the better learning environment it has created at SJACPS due to the much needed added space and technological improvements with the interactive whiteboards and by allowing Reception classes to now be accommodated at the school.”

Along with celebrating the new building, the Ministry also took the opportunity to celebrate SJACPS’s achievement as the first government school not only in Cayman but in the entire Caribbean to be authorized to teach the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP). To honour this fantastic achievement, a new sign at the front of the school was unveiled proudly displaying this new designation.

Principal of SJACPS Mr. Joseph Wallace was delighted with the improvements at his school and said, “I am very proud of all the staff and students at SJACPS who worked extremely hard to achieve this prestigious authorisation and thank them for everything they do. Even in the ceremony this evening we showcased what being an IB school means with our students saying prayer in both English and Spanish and through the musical talent of our students. That is essentially what IB is all about, being a holistic person well versed, not only in academia, but in other subject areas such as sports and the arts.”

Principal Wallace also thanked the Ministry for the new building by saying, “I would also like to thank the Ministry for our new building which was desperately needed with our large student body. The building houses our Year 2 and 3 students and everyone has adjusted well to their new environment.”