|Construction underway on Old Fort School|
Guardian Business Editor
Published: Aug 15, 2013
Ground has been broken on a new private school in western New Providence, with plans for its opening in September 2014.
Lisa Sawyer-McCartney, director of the Meridian School, said construction got underway on the five-acre Old Fort School two weeks ago, and she has received “very, very favorable” responses to date on the new educational institution.
At present a curriculum is being determined for the school, with plans to go public shortly with these details.
“We’re looking at a number of things. We have to make sure children are universally ready. We’re looking at a number of organizations that are willing to partner with us, a couple of people are conducting research for us here and internationally,” said Sawyer-McCartney.
“It’s an eight month build-out. We’re furnishing a sales office for the school in the interim, where we are hoping to move in by October 2013.”
Once this key element is determined, the Old Fort School is set to open a sales office in the Old Fort Bay Town Centre.
The school is being built on 5 acres of a 10-acre site which formerly belonged to the New Providence Development Company (NPDC).
Sawyer-McCartney noted that the NPDC is “holding” the remaining five acres in case of further expansion by the school.
Ultimate Construction is working on the project. Sawyer-McCartney declined to specify the project’s investment value until an official groundbreaking takes place later in the year.
“The number also changes everyday. I’m still waiting for the quote from BEC which scares me to death!” said Sawyer-McCartney.
The Old Fort School will cater to children from pre-kindergarten through 9th grade, phasing in additional grades as it operates, with the intention of having its first graduating class by 2017.
Each class will have “no more than 18 children, a teacher and a teacher’s aide,” according to Sawyer-McCartney, who currently owns and operates the Meridian School, off John F. Kennedy Drive.
Speaking of the community’s reaction to the new school, Sawyer-McCartney said: “We’ve received an excellent response. I think it’s time. There are very, very few classroom spaces in the western area and it’s growing by leaps and bounds.
“We’ve got many people interested already. We started a little email list of people, although we haven’t made any commitments to anyone yet. Meridian families will be given first preference and then subsequently we’ll take others who apply. People have said ‘Let me know when you have everything organized’.”