Good times at Middlesex Infant

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MIDDLESEX, St Elizabeth — Angella Russell, principal of the Middlesex Infant School smiled when asked recently how she thought facilities at her school compared with similar institutions across the country following a major upgrade last year.

“The facilities are par excellence,” Russell told the Jamaica Observer Central, while making a sweeping gesture with her right hand to emphasise her point.

“You won’t find a basic school looking like this and even the majority of infant schools, you won’t find them looking like this,” she said.

The Middlesex Infant School, located close to the world-famous Holland Bamboo and the Holland Sugar Estate received a $30-million upgrade, in 2018 — funded by the J Wray & Nephew Foundation which is the charity arm of rum company, J Wray & Nephew Ltd.

The foundation announced at a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony last September that “a better learning environment had been created” with improved facilities including a new rainwater harvesting and storage system, installation of fire safety equipment, an upgraded courtyard, a new auditorium, a vegetable garden with a drip irrigation system, a computer lab and perimeter fencing.

Russell told the Observer Central that since 2019 the Middlesex Infant School which was built by CHASE Fund in 2013 has been “fully certified” and “gazetted” which makes it “officially on the Ministry of Education system”. The school accommodates 52 children, and in addition to the principal is staffed by four classroom teachers, a caregiver, cook and janitor.

Last September, J Wray & Nephew chairman, Clement “Jimmy” Lawrence described the improved infant school as “world class not just because of the significant capital injection of over $30 million (but also) because of the dreams it will help to craft and the confidence and positive influence it will inculcate in the children under its care”.

Back then Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth North Western JC Hutchinson (JLP), in whose constituency Middlesex Infant School is located, said he visualised the school serving as “a centre of development for Middlesex and its surroundings”. Hutchinson, who is minister without portfolio with responsibility for agriculture, said he expected the upgraded facilities to be also used as a training centre for agricultural aids.


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