Beautiful Virgin Islands

Sunday, Jul 03, 2022

CLARIFICATION: Anonymous donor gave $4M for ESHS project before Premier’s appeal to businesses

CLARIFICATION: Anonymous donor gave $4M for ESHS project before Premier’s appeal to businesses

Deputy Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has said the government received $4 million from a single anonymous donor to help fund the $11 million Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) redevelopment project.

Dr Wheatley gave that indication during this week’s airing of the VIP Let’s Talk radio show.

He said: “We have the money, and in fact, we have to thank our donor, we had one donor – just one donor – who put $4 million into that project,” Dr Wheatley disclosed.

He continued: “So many other donors want to put money into it and we have, of course, local funding dedicated to that project.”

Following that radio appearance, Dr Wheatley clarified to our news centre that those funds were donated before last week’s contract-signing ceremony when Premier Andrew Fahie called on businesses to donate to the project.

“I am challenging 70 companies, especially in the Virgin Islands to each make a donation of no less than $60,000 towards the Elmore Stout High School redevelopment project,” the Premier pleaded at the time.

These $60,000 donations would be in addition to the $4 million the government would have already received from the anonymous donor.

In the meantime, Dr Wheatley‘s revelation about the anonymous donor follows closely on the heels of criticism by Opposition Leader Marlon Penn, that the aid request made by Premier Fahie a week ago, offered no guarantee of funding to complete the project.

It’s like they want the project to fail

During his radio appearance, the Deputy Premier had also accused the National Democratic Party (NDP) of seemingly wanting the ESHS project to flop.

“It’s almost like they want the project to fail, I really don’t know what they are saying, just making a lot of negative comments,” Dr Wheatley argued.

“We’re not gonna let anything stop us,” the Deputy Premier added while assuring that the territory’s recovery is moving forward.

He listed a number of school infrastructure projects that had already been completed or were currently underway during the tenure of the current VIP administration and a number of others that he said were expected to be progressing in the near future.

“So things are moving,” Dr Wheatley stated.

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn had previously said while his party supported the redevelopment project at the high school, he felt the government had not done the necessary work to secure funding for the project.


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