After three years of meetings, and prayers, about how to proceed with the creating of an after-graduation care center for students, the answer came when the school received a substantial donation from a benefactor. The donation was specifically for this project. The money will permit the construction of a training center and shelter combination that will allow students, unable to cope working independently in larger society, to continue being productive in a work setting. It will also provide the opportunity for continuing self-help training.
The school Administrator, Lynn Major, organized a meeting on February 15 with parents and stakeholders to discuss the future of the center. She said the project now has the full permission of the Catholic Archdiocese.
Archbishop Patrick Pinder and Claudette Rolle, Director of Catholic Education, have agreed after visiting the school on February 12, that the services are needed and should continue.
The center, a 40x60ft building, will be built on the school grounds in front of the present facility. Part of the money has been used to level and fill the area which will be landscaped to provide safer parking as well as entry and exit from the school. The foundations for the future center are now ready to be laid.
People from the business community are already helping: the excavating and filling was done at a special price by Big Cat Equipment and a local plumber, Mel Brice, has agreed to do the plumbing pro-bono if the school furnished the materials. Lyndon Hepburn also donated his time, assisting with cleaning.
Most of the construction will be done by parents and volunteers.
“We would like the remaining funds to go a long way,” said Ms. Major, “as it is most likely that the center will not be self-supporting and funds will have to be raised for not only finishing the center but also running it.”
The meeting went beyond discussion about the construction phase. Details were discussed concerning the physical building, where to buy materials at the best price or to obtain duty-free status, to the running of the operation. Parents were asked if they agreed to tuition being charged to support the running of the facility. It seemed that they were all in agreement.
Ms. Major also suggested applying for a grant as money will be needed to operate both the school and the center. Staffing the training center will also be a challenge that will have to be addressed. Since it is a new endeavor that has not be undertaken before there are no guidelines in place, so any input will be useful, she said.
The school staff is also waiting for the passing of the new Disability Act to find out how it will impact the school and center.