The government has now determined that additional monies needed to complete the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) redevelopment project will come from the public purse instead of the previously-announced donor funding.
A Schedule of Additional Provisions (SAP) totalling more than $31 million and offering funding for a wide range of projects was passed unanimously in the House of Assembly (HOA) last evening.
That sum was largely drawn from the Reserve Fund and the Consolidated Fund of the territory.
“Of course, I think a real victory for us in this SAP is that we have provided the funding to complete the Elmore Stoutt High School project,“ Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley said.
Education Minister Sharie de Castro said the move to provide funding to finalise the project and to pay for school supplies at the ESHS was very important and speaks to the government’s commitment to ensuring that students are able to learn in an environment that is conducive and safe.
Former Premier Andrew Fahie
previously stated that donor funding was urgently needed for the project — estimated to cost more than $11 million — to be completed ahead of the new school year in September.
At the time, some $4.2 million was requested of business owners, purportedly representing the deficit from previous estimates for the project years ago.
Some of the SAP funds are also expected to be directed towards the Jost Van Dyke school project.
As he announced the details of the SAP, Premier Wheatley said the territory had reached a turning point in its history, particularly with regard to its financial model.
While noting challenges experienced by the territory’s two main financial pillars – tourism and financial services, the Premier said it was important to closely examine how the territory will still be able to bring in much-needed revenue to meet its many obligations.