Education Minister to give update on Althea Scatliffe closure
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has said Education Minister Sharie de Castro will soon address issues related to the recent closure of Althea Scatliffe Primary School (ASPS).
The school’s abrupt closure weeks ago, over issues of structural integrity, has meant uncertainty for new and returning students ahead of the new school term in September.
The closure came following the submission of a report of an inspection that was done at the school, officials noted.
“We fully expect that the Minister of Education will make an announcement about Althea Scatliffe [Primary] School in terms of what’s going to be happening for the children in September, very soon,” Dr Wheatley said.
According to the Premier, officials are exploring options on where students can be housed in a safe area for the upcoming school year.
Dr Wheatley said the issue was already discussed with the United Kingdom and among the Cabinet regarding ‘fiscal space’ to address funding for the school project.
Regarding the particulars of the school‘s infrastructural issues, the Premier said there was some spalling resulting from the expansion of steel beams in the school structure.
This was based on an assessment done by engineering personnel last year while he served as Minister of Education.
He also explained that there were chunks of concrete falling from the roof of the school as a result of the issues.
The Premier said additional assessments were done on the building structure which the Education Minister will report on.
The building was also found to have not met the required code for earthquakes, Premier Wheatley explained.
“I think what is clear to everyone is that the school needs either to be renovated or demolished and rebuilt and I’ll let the Ministry of Education bring their recommendations and the engineers who are giving them the advice to bring their recommendations on exactly what needs to be done,” Premier Wheatley added.