~ Govt. building to be readied for CBA ~
PHILIPSBURG–Government has asked Utilities Company GEBE to offer the Charlotte Brookson Academy (CBA) for the Performance Arts, 5,000 square meters of land in Hope Estate so that the institution can construct temporary classes there.
This is seen as part of a long term solution for the institution to have a more permanent place of abode to educate its high school students.
In the meantime, work to prepare the old government administration building for CBA to relocate from its current location at University of St. Martin (USM), will start on Friday and is expected to be completed within a few days.
Prime Minister William Marlin told reporters on Wednesday that the work will be done to prepare the top floor of the building. Windward Roads was asked to provide assistance in moving about six to eight partitions in the building. Three of the partitions will be shifted to bring about a change in the size of the rooms, while another three or four will be removed completely to transform two rooms into one room.
“So hopefully the work will be completed in one or two days and then CBA can begin its transition to move in,” Marlin said during the live weekly Council of Ministers press briefing.
He said one of the main challenges for CBA is that it has been using the furnished facilities at USM and as a result the secondary school does not possess its own chairs, tables and other facilities needed to function independently.
“So in the coming days, CBA will be embarking on a massive drive to obtain the necessary material to be able to furnish the classrooms,” Marlin explained. “The civil servants who will be working here (old government administration building) will no longer have a Council of Ministers working above them, but now the silence will be broken and for some months and they will have a number of students, but we are confident that it won’t really become a nuisance to them.”
CBA will not be paying any rent at their new location. Marlin said this gesture was part “of a solution” he and Education Minister Silveria Jacobs came up with several weeks ago when approached by CBA about their plight. “When they came in desperation … we came up with the idea of allowing them to use here. It will be a gesture on the part of government to allow them to occupy it until an interim solution is found and again towards a permanent solution.”
Elaborating on the request to GEBE for land, Marlin said government has asked GEBE to make available to CBA, about 5,000 square metres of land next to the Senior Citizens Recreational Centre in Hope Estate. He said GEBE purchased about 90,000 square metres of land at the location several years ago and has not yet done anything with the land.
“They claim that they are moving their warehouse … It’s GEBE’s land so we have asked GEBE to allow the CBA to make use of 5,000 square meters until a permanent solution is found and then temporary classes can be built there.”
He said also that one of the challenges for CBA is the fact that it is an “experimental school.” GEBE is expected to hold a board meeting on Saturday, and a decision is expected to be taken regarding the request for land for CBA. Marlin said, however, that “so far they have been very positive and both the board and management have indicated their willingness to cooperate.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/61341-gebe-asked-to-give-cba-5-000-square-meters-land