Tender process for new school buildings aimed for this fall

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THE HAGUE/SABA — The tender process to construct two new buildings that will house the kindergarten of the Sacred Heart School (SHS), the Laura Linzey Daycare and the afterschool care of the Saba Girls and Boys Sports Society will hopefully start this fall.
The budget, provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (SZW), is in place for this project in St. John’s, next to the SHS and the Saba Comprehensive School (SCS). The project was discussed recently in a meeting of Commissioner Bruce Zagers and Island Secretary Tim Muller with the two ministries in The Hague.

During the meeting with the Ministry of OCW, an extensive reaction on the plan of action for the buildings, recently submitted by the Public Entity Saba, was discussed. The Public Entity Saba contributes with infrastructure and through the Planning Bureau which does the project management and supervision.

The current SHS building is more than 30 years old and more space is needed because of the increased number of students. The expansion of the kindergarten in particular is urgent. By moving the two kindergarten classes to the new building, much-needed space will be created for the other (growing) classes.

The daycare is currently partially housed in the former Governor’s House as a temporary measure. The building doesn’t comply with all requirements and is also getting too small for the growing number of children. The current afterschool facility does not have a permanent location, is now housed at the Sunny Valley Youth Center which is not ideal and is too small as well.

While in The Hague, the Saba delegation was informed that the funding has been approved to purchase and install container style classrooms to temporarily house the daycare to bridge the gap until the new building is ready. The containers can be used for future purposes as well, for example, during school renovations. Also approved was the funding for additional upgrades of the Sunny Valley Youth Center.

During the meeting with the Ministry of OCW, maintenance for the SCS was also discussed, as well as the idea to create a vision for a future-proof high school. This vision will be created with the input of all relevant stakeholders.