Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
The community of Virgin Gorda welcomed the official hand over of the Bregado Flax Educational Centre (BFEC) Secondary of buildings 2, 3 and the Administration Block on Friday, September 17.
The project included internal refurbishment and replacement of the roof for Blocks 2 and 3, and the Administration Block; provide 11 classrooms, a science laboratory, IT laboratory, art room, library, staff and bathroom facilities.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley thanked the Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie for making the $1.7 million dollars available for construction of the educational centre. Quality Construction Limited was the project’s contractor.
Honourable Wheatley thanked everyone who was instrumental in the completion of the building and appealed to the community to play its part in the development of education.
“We faced the hurricanes, and now COVID-19, and other challenges that in order to overcome them we have to do it together as a community, confront the challenges and work harder, plan harder and cooperate more,” Honourable Wheatley said.
The construction project was a collaboration between the Government of the Virgin Islands and the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency (RDA).
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie while giving a brief history of the development of education stated that the late Chief Minister H. Lavity Stoutt championed the cause so that the children of the Virgin Islands could enjoy secondary education and years after be able to begin a tertiary education at home.
Premier said, “This is one of the main reasons why the value of education is embedded in our people. We know that education is vital and is a key to use to free our people from poverty and place them in the path of prosperity.”
Meanwhile, Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration and Representative for the Ninth District Honourable Vincent Wheatley said he felt a sense of pride to see the completion of the centre, which he stated is one of the most sophisticated in the Virgin Islands.
Honorable Wheatley said that the school boasts a solar system which is cutting edge technology and that is something he is happy to see for the benefit and use of the its students.
Minister Wheatley stated, “The construction of this building shows the commitment by the Government of the Virgin Islands to the development of our country, through our young people, who are the future of the Territory. It is our duty to prepare you to take on the mantle as the next set of leaders, a reality which is not far away.”
Meanwhile, Acting CEO of the RDA, Mr. Anthony McMaster said the birth of this project is the result of the collaboration of the different persons and agencies within the Virgin Islands community working together for the improvement of the same.
Mr. McMaster said the architectural designs began with a native of Virgin Gorda, Mr, Jose de Castro of 3DE Limited, along with Chris Conway of CSE Engineering Design.
“We also had BCQS represented by Project Manager Ms. Marsha Hector, and then the actual construction of the building by Quality Construction Limited,” he said, adding, “The importance of what we are highlighting today needs to be recognised, as we are now able to see the fruits of that labour.”
At Large Representative and Virgin Gorda resident, Honourable Shereen Flax-Charles, also joined her voice as she also expressed her joy to see the progress made in the Virgin Gorda community for the students.
Representative for Quality Construction Limited Ms. Jeleisa Potter spoke about the challenges met by her company striving to build a school which students and residents of Virgin Gorda will feel proud of.
Ms. Potter said, “On behalf of Quality Construction Limited I will like to say thank you for giving us the opportunity to do a building suitable to provide an environment in which students can learn. It is with much pride that we officially handover the keys for this building to you today.”
The RDA is a statutory body, set up under Virgin Island’s legislation, that works hand in hand with Ministries to deliver projects under the Recovery to Development Plan (RDP) the Government’s ambitious plan for recovery and development that has been approved by the House of Assembly.