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Thursday, May 30, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsSt. Croix School Repair Update

St. Croix School Repair Update

Central High School, among other schools on St. Croix, is in the process of receiving much-needed repairs, the Education Department reports. (Source file photo)

Repairs were underway to the vast physical deficiencies at St. Croix’s public schools, according to a new report from the Department of Education.

Teachers walked off the job in protest in September over decrepit conditions at the schools. Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. blamed climate change.

Work at Central High School was typical of the repairs across the island’s 13 schools — from pre-kindergarten to adult education.

Of 19 projects slated for Central High School, six were completed: window repairs, testing air quality and drinking water, cleaning AC filters, resolving laptop issues, and installing electrical outlets. Work securing hanging wires was underway. Other projects — bathroom upgrades, air quality testing, electrical upgrades, ceiling fans, cafeteria roof repairs, intercom and camera systems, repairs to roof leaks, and painting — were in the bidding process, contracted out, or awaiting federal approval.

On Tuesday, school officials plan to meet to assess plans for Central High School’s new social-emotional wellness student center.

The John H. Woodson Junior High School saw a flurry of activity, with roof leaks repaired, classroom tiling installed, the main ventilation system cleaned, air quality tested and improved, the courtyard painted, and drinking water made available. The school is slated to reopen Feb. 12. The to-do list still includes camera systems, stage repairs, and bathroom and kitchen upgrades. About half of the hallways’ lighting has been fixed, according to the report.

Four of 11 repair projects at the Educational Complex were completed, including testing air quality, adding drinking water and ceiling fans, and removing debris. Getting an intercom and camera systems up, bathroom upgrades, electrical and leak repairs, and painting were yet to happen.

The Career and Technical Education Center had 15 projects to tackle but only three were completed: drinking water, locker removal, and purchase of necessary safety equipment. Welding, ceiling fan installation, bathroom upgrades, ceiling and floor tiling, air quality issues, library furniture, window screens, textbooks, intercom and camera systems, and more were yet to be completed.

Of 15 needs at the Alfredo Andrews Elementary School, four were completed. Air quality was fine and no hallway leaks were found, according to the report. Drinking water and kitchen air conditioning were added. Electrical and bathroom upgrades, sewage issues, new exit and entrance doors, concrete work and tree trimming, camera systems, playground design and basketball court resurfacing were still needed.

The Claude O. Markoe Elementary School fared better with five completed projects — new air conditioning, gym design, floor tiles, drinking water installed and hallway leaks patched. Kitchen and bathroom upgrades, electrical work, roof leaks, camera installation, and sewage work were all yet to be done. The school also needs a basketball court resurfacing as well as a gym and playground redesign, according to the report.

Debris was hauled away from the Lew Muckle Elementary School and windows and drinking water facilities were repaired. Bathroom and kitchen upgrades, painting, roof leaks, electrical work, basketball court resurfacing, and a new camera system were all yet to be completed.

New drinking water systems and kitchen air conditioning were added to the Pearl B. Larsen Pre K-8 School, the report said. Roof leaks were also repaired. Electrical, bathroom, hall lighting and stage repairs were next, as well as construction of a new bus shed and camera system.

Crews removed modular classrooms at the Ricardo Richards Elementary School and added hall lighting. Painting, bathroom and kitchen upgrades, a playground renovation and new camera system were still to be done.

Juanita Gardine Pre-K-8 School still needs new fencing, walkways, outdoor lighting, an intercom system, and bathroom upgrades. But gym lights and drinking water systems were installed, and gym fans were purchased and ready to install.

Leaks in the Alternative Academy’s roof have been repaired, as have windows and the drinking water facility. Plumbing repairs were underway, the report said. Bathroom upgrades, painting, fencing, and a camera system were still needed.

Drinking water facilities and air quality testing were done at the Eulalie Rivera Elementary School but the to-do list was far longer. It includes fencing, bathroom upgrades, electrical work, outside lighting needed, changing room repairs, kitchen upgrades, and a camera system.

Walkways at Adult Education were being repaired and a contract was secured to install security cameras. Funding for the cameras, however, had yet to be approved, according to the report. Bathroom upgrades and electrical issues were deemed unneeded, and the air quality seemed fine. New air conditioning units were installed and the drinking water system made functional.

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