The George Moody Stuart School (GMSS), also known as the Factory School, is mobilizing efforts to ensure that the Factory Social Centre is a safe zone in which to resume operations of the learning institution in September 2017. This plan of action is being taken following the school’s relocation to the St. Johnson’s Community Centre, with Government’s permission, after the St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards determined that there was “suspected asbestos” in a section of the roof of the Factory Social Centre, which had been constructed in the 1970s.
Chairperson of the GMSS Board of Trustees Jennifer Dillon-Sirjue has assured that every effort is being undertaken to procedurally remove the “suspected asbestos” from the premises.
“ The Public Works Department will remove the affected section of the roof following the approved and required health procedures that are necessary to make the premises safe for those who will be present within its environs,” she said.
The Board revealed that in addition to covering its customary operating expenses, the school is in the process of raising an additional $150,000 for the construction and to give the premises a facelift in order to improve the look and feel of the environs with the intention of promoting learning. During the current school year, the GMSS has undertaken fundraising efforts including a Spirit Week, a Walk-a-thon, as well as Valentine’s and Sports Day sales. The GMSS Alumni is also being mobilised to assist the school in its endeavours to survive, thrive and enhance its current condition.
“When one considers the proximity of the start of the new school year and the exhaustion of other options, there is no other viable choice but to return to the Factory Social Centre,” Mrs. Dillon-Sirjue explained. “This is so even though the school is on the verge of making a down-payment on the land that will become the permanent home for the GMSS, hopefully within the next 5 years.”
The challenges of the current academic year have not deterred the students and teachers as the school continues to perform well. Recently, GMSS participated in two competitions—the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society History and Heritage Primary School Quiz and the Consumer Affairs Primary School Quiz (Private Zone) — and emerged second place winners in both instances. Also, thirteen students represented the school in the CENPOS Private School Championship, and successfully secured nine medals— three gold, five silver and one bronze.
Factory School has a longstanding tradition of creating a learning environment that produces students that have outstanding Tests of Standards (TOS) results. As it relates to the 2016 Graduating Class of twelve students, Head Teacher Elizabeth Condell reported that: “For placement in High Schools last year, seven students went to 1A1, three to 1A2 and one to 1A3.” Two of these students, Gabrielle Myers and Vlasean Smithen, were among those recognized on a national level for their outstanding performance in the 2016 TOS.
“We extend sincere gratitude to parents and guardians for their support during the past year,” Mrs. Dillon-Sirjue said. “We look forward to your continued support as we work to ensure that we epitomize the motto of the GMSS: I am, I can, I ought, I will. This is necessary because together we are, we can, we ought and we will!”
Donations will be gratefully accepted and can be made by contacting GMSS at 465-8106 or 661-0870 or deposits can be made to the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Account Number 10127695.