BVI News

Discussions being had with anonymous benefactor to rebuild entire ESHS

A section of the severely damaged Elmore Stoutt High School. (BVI News photo)

Government could receive much-needed assistance to rebuild the entire Elmore Stoutt High School campus in Road Town that was ravaged by Hurricane Irma back in September 2017.

That is according to Education Minister Myron Walwyn who said he is locked in discussions with an anonymous benefactor.

While speaking during a recent sitting of the House of Assembly, Walwyn indicated that nothing is concrete as yet.

“The interest is there and we just have to make sure that we push and capitalise on that,” Walwyn said.

The minister said this reported interest to assist with the rebuild is welcomed given that the cost to restore the educational facility will be what he described as “the biggest price tag for a school” in the territory.

L-shaped building will not be ready till next school year

Zeroing on the ESHS’ L-shaped building, which is to be restored before the rest of the campus, Walwyn said the tendering process to undergo that process is now in progress.

“I was told by the folks in the Project Unit [in the Ministry of Finance] that the school should be ready for the new academic school year sometime between September [2019] and December. That will bring, certainly, the issue of the shift system to an end, which is something that I want to see happen as soon as possible,” Walwyn said.

The building, which will house senior ESHS students once restored, was initially promised to be ready by the end of this first school term.

READ: Missed target | Works to ESHS will not start before mid-January

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  1. Hottie says:

    Thank goodness that a successful BVI businessman is telling up to the plate with such a substantial donation and that we are not reliant on some wealthy white expat for the donation.

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    • @Hottie says:

      Nice to see the racism flourishing from the wonderful god fearing people of the BVI. Why bother rebuilding the school. The children just grow up to be criminals anyway and remain uneducated. How is that spoon full of racism to go with yours

    • @Hottie says:

      BVI Racist Strong. This should be the slogan of the Territory. If someone is donating be sure it’s not an African. African have no heart for donating or helping another human being. The Territory is doomed because of the likes of you

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      • CW says:



    • @Hottie says:

      @Hottie, I am convinced simple common sense passed you by.Do you realize how silly you sound? Stop using we as your insert word. Sorry Hottie, the way the Country is crumbling, your words, the wealthy white expat is going to be the ones to save the Country which is standing on toothpicks from crumbling.

    • @ Hottie says:

      You sound stupid and ignorant just making a fool of yourself for the comment. The BVI is made up of several nationalities in all hues of colour.

      It is persons like you who would give the country and people a bad name and impression from those on the outside looking in. It is obvious that much help is needed to rebuild the country and if there are those who wish to invest in these projects and help they are very welcome to do so. Now because of your idiotic comment the investor may now change their mind.

      Thank you very much Hottie. Next time if you have nothing good or positive to say please keep off the blogs.

  2. tola says:

    be nice…. I will welcome the funds whether from a BVI slander or an expat. The sad thing is this should have been done over one year ago

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    • Gilligan says:

      But Walwyn approved the $7.2 m to the airline. So instead of spend that money on our school he diverted our money to some crooks. Did he get the payola?

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  3. Hmmm says:

    I bet the local getting from those awesome rich white expats. We dont care where the money comes from. We want our children in a better less expensive place.

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  4. Want2Kno says:

    If there were 70 contractors for a wall, how much will be needed for de school?

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  5. Longshanks says:

    I have often wondered if this is the reason why nothing has been done to date. The government wanted to keep a “marquee” disaster project unremedied in the hope that eventually some private benefactor (local or international – the article does not specify) would fill the gap.

    Shame to even think that, prejudicing the future of our youth in the hope of a donation. Would have been better to spend the money straight away, pumping money into the economy and getting our kids back to school.

    I seriously hope that if a benefactor does provide the funds they also take control. Who knows how much this one will cost given the cost of the wall.

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    • Busy Bee says:

      Get someone else to pay for it, then the government can apply that cash to where the money was intended in the first place: getting reelected.

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  6. Disheartened says:

    Hottie, nowhere in the article does it say that the potential donor is a successful BVI business man. I would bet that it most probably is not. However, comments such as yours would certainly discourage any financial assistance I would be willing to give to a community that has these kind of racist views.

    Like 15
  7. Socrates says:

    Should there not be one Premier at a time? If there is indeed discussion(s) with a benefactor to fund the rebuilding of ESHS, should not this info be coming from the Premier? A weakness/failure in the NDP government is that there are governments within a government. What does MEC mean by rebuilding ESHS? Does it mean rebuilding in like kind? Another blogger (E. Leonard) is advocating for a different course of action, ie, razing, redesigning, resiting and reconstructing ESHS. Is this view on the table?

    Further, who is the benefactor and what he/she wants? Is this a quid quo pro? If this is just goodwill, why all the secrecy? Should not sunshine be let in? Furthermore, the NDP government is a lame duck government and it should not be negotiating any major projects; major projects should be left to the next government. Should the NDP just be handling emergencies and routine operations? Yes.

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    • @Socrates says:

      Wise words indeed. Even though he is the minster of education, something supposedly as big as this involving such a large donation should have come from or at least be known to the minister of finance as well. Something like that would have shown the “unity” that they are desperately trying to convince the people of that is there.

      In terms of this anonymous benefactor:
      There could be a number of reasons as to why this person is to remain anonymous yet still in the earlier comments I saw someone jump the gun and assume that this donation is coming from a BVI business person and not a white expat, where is the evidence to suggest this? That part at least is an important part that I feel should be disclosed even if the person’s name is withheld, because if this is a “white expat” which one can you name that is going to donate such a large contribution to a local institution and not want anything in return? Even though his track record says otherwise I hope there is transparency on this matter going forward. For example what are the terms of this agreement? How does it affect the tax paying folks of the BVI? What is this benefactor getting in return and how does that affect us? Is this just a donation or will this person have a say or room to change certain key things about the high school because of their donation. Whether or not the donation is needed we should always watch the hand that is willing to give and decide as a territory whether the costs outweigh the benefits.

    • Nonsense says:

      He is the Minister of Education and I’m sure the Premier as Minister of Finance and leader is involved with the discussions. Why are we electing people and expecting things to get done but then upset when they’re pushing things that fall within their remit. The school is destroyed and not reopened, it’s his fault, not the Premier. But getting it rebuilt shouldn’t be his responsibility as Minister of the subject? This petty BS is why the Territory cannot move forward in many respects!

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  8. looking in says:

    Its so shameful that the bvi is in this financial position,
    For all the years the government had been collecting so much revenue from the financial services, labour department, immigration etc etc,
    now post irma no proper infrastructure,
    Where did all that money went
    omg bvi politicians you’ll should be ashamed of yourselves
    for what you did to the people of this island ,
    Look at what’s going on now financially its sad so sad for the people they really should of been in a better position with surplus in the economy wish the people prosperity .

    Like 15
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    • @looking in says:

      While some missteps were made, where should a 24 sq mile place be after being hit with the worst flood in history, a cat 5 direct hit with winds at over 200mph, within 10 days, another cat 5 hit albeit not direct hit, with 100mph winds. We are 15 months in and while a lot more should have been done, are we that ungrateful and blind? 15 months! Just over a year ago many of us thought it was the end for the BVI and many packed up and left everything behind, just LEFT! While we should always hold our elected officials accountable let us at least be reasonable. The elephant in the room is the civil service and no government will touch that and even if they do, you same ones talking crap would be the first to complain when its you and/or friends/relatives being affected.

      Like 13
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      • looking in says:

        As I said post Irma what infrastructure was there , I’m glad you know its just a 24sq miles island
        it should of bean in a better place post irma .
        But everyone is happy to make irma the scape goat
        It was bad before the flood, irma and marieaintit?

  9. CW says:

    with all the obvious experts here, you already know that the typical reason large donations are made anonymously is to protect the donor from getting hassled by other people wanting more, right? All of you that presume something sinister is at hand need a lesson in civics and how philanthropy works. Example: If this is Richard Branson donating the money, he probably doesnt want to have another 30,000 BVI residents asking him for money every time he arrives-that happens to him already. Same for HNW individuals across the globe. But of course, the experts here already know that lol

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  10. A man says:

    One thing we can be relatively confident of. It can’t be the bearded saint with the two islands out east, as there is no way he would do something anonymously (or help Tortola over pet projects in VG benefiting a small minority).

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    • Oops says:

      You know very little. A small group with an interest in seeing the BVI improve have been trying to get decent and resilient projects okayed all of last year but your government and your opposition is getting in the way as they cannot operate in the same crooked way as before. That’s is not to say that there aren’t massive opportunities for the local trades because there are. It just will not be done by the old BVI Zimbabwe methods.

      There are plans there to give us resilient power, infrastructure, all sorts but the government is holding it back. Stupidly, because of all of this went ahead, they would be hitting the elections without the stench of s h. It in towns and with far more gainful employment and visible progress

  11. Economic Substance? says:

    Hey, since these business companies that incorporate here and operate elsewhere now have to establish ‘economic subtance’ here in the BVI, one way to do that is to get involved in the recovery and development of the territory. Donations, professional advise, establish a fund. Be a partner/shareholder in a fund/entity involved in the recovery. I am sure the lawyers can come up with something that meets EU standards. Win Win!

  12. Local Girl says:

    Since I know that these blog sites are popular and people read the comments: let’s think differently and long-term about this.

    The old ESHS site sits on prime land in town. Perhaps that compound can/should be redesigned in order to house a multitude of government offices. That way it can be like one stop shopping, should you need to visit multiple offices when conducting business, as we often do. Those offices that are not currently house in the Admin complex would be first tipped to move to this site, or we could look at putting units that typically do business together within proximity of each other, example, Social Development and Education Department.

    The school should be split into the long discussed junior and senior schools, with one junior school being east and one junior school being west. These schools will cover grades 7-9. Perhaps the site of the current Ivan Dawson school can be developed over time in order to make it a suitable junior high school. The current cultural center can be razed and turned into the Senior High School. With some students going off to VISTS at 10th grade (or other educational settings), the number of students in grades 10-12 tends to be lower than those in 7-9, and the Cultural Centre site–if rebuilt correctly– can house these numbers.

    I admit that I don’t currently know of a suitable site in the eastern area for a junior school, but these are things that can be looked into.

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  13. Longshanks says:

    One other thought – an anonymous benefactor at election time? What does the benefactor get in return? There are good arguments not to allow anonymous funding in a territory where there is widespread chat and / or suspicion of corruption.

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