Twice good news about school buildings in St. Eustatius

Last Monday two schools on St. Eustatius had a celebration. In the morning, Commissioner Schmidt of education unveiled the building board and with that he gave the starting signal for the construction of the new school building of the Governor de Graaff School (Basisschool). 

Also on the same day at four o’clock in the afternoon, he cut an opening ribbon, and afterwards the new covert space of Gwendoline van Putten School (VMBO, HAVO and MBO) officially came into use.

Both projects are part of the Education Management Plan for St. Eustatius, which is financed by the Public Entity of St. Eustatius and by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (in Dutch: Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap, OCW). The Department of public buildings carries out the various projects that are part of this plan.


Project Governor de Graaff School

One of the priorities of the Education housing plan is a suitable housing for the Governor de Graaff School. In recent years, the building of the Governor de Graaff School became too big for the growing number of students. At the same time, a shortage of space arose at the Gwendoline van Putten School. Therefore it was agreed that the Governor de Graaff School gets a new building, which fits better with the number of pupils. The current premises of the Governor de Graaff School are then available for Gwendoline van Putten School. By that, a part of the space problem of that school will be solved.
The Executive Council of St. Eustatius has given the green light to change the zoning plan for the Lynch area, trough which the design and construction of this new building can be realized efficiently. The construction, of which the launch is scheduled for this week, is due for completion late October as planned, after which the removal of the Governor de Graaff School to the Lynch area will take place.


Project covert space Gwendoline van Putten School, St. Eustatius

The new covert space of the Gwendoline van Putten School has been on the wish list of both the school board as the students for a long time. Thanks to this covert space, pausing students have a spacious and shady place. The new covert place is also equipped with electricity and lightening, thus in the future it can be used as space for other school activities. The furniture for the new covert space, benches and a stage, will be put together by the students with wood that has been supplied by the contractor. Building and learning go hand in hand.

Working on a good education housing

The starting point of the Ministry of Education is that quality education requires an attractive, healthy and safe learning environment. Since the political changes of October 10th 2010, at which St. Eustatius, Saba and Bonaire obtained the status of special Dutch municipalities, education housing is a responsibility of the island governments. Minister Van Bijsterveldt-Vliegenthart of Education, Culture and Science wants to support the Public Entities bringing the school buildings in a good condition, so that afterwards the islands themselves can provide for the maintenance of these buildings.
The total costs of the plans for the school buildings on the three islands amount to

$ 59 million. Of this total, $ 24.5 million will be funded from the free allowance of the Public Entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba and $ 34,5 million by the Ministry of OCW.
In the coming months, the master plans for the school buildings will be elaborated further for the agreed amount. The two mentioned projects on St. Eustatius are part of a series of projects, and there has been worked at full speed to improve the school buildings in the Dutch Caribbean.