Government hopes new injection of funds into Boys Training School will see end to years of delay

Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel Hurst (File photo)
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More than four years since the Boys Training School was announced to be receiving major renovation, the government has now taken to investing more funds to accelerate its completion.

Since 2018, the government has been unable to stick to a definite timeline as to the opening of the facility, which has served to house delinquent boys between the ages of 10 and 18.

During last week’s Cabinet press conference, the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel Hurst, suggested that almost EC$1 million may be necessary to complete the project.

“It is not so much the money alone that is posing a little bit of a difficulty; the teams at the Ministry of Public Works that have been working at the Boys Training School, are also busily attempting to repair some government buildings where you have mould and other kinds of unsafe working conditions, and as a consequence, there is this continuous utilisation of the same teams to do a multiplicity of tasks,” Hurst argued.

In 2021, Observer media and other media organisations were invited to visit the area alongside the then- Minister of Social Transformation, Dean Jonas, where renovations were expected to be completed in June of that year.

Then in June 2023, Attorney General Sir Steadroy Benjamin suggested to Observer media that the institution would be ready ‘in a matter of weeks.’

Last week, Hurst suggested that barring any additional delays, the Boys Training School could finally be reopened soon.

“I believe the Minister [of Public Works Maria Browne] may have indicated that, with the resources sent her way, that it could be ready by the end of the month of February, but again, some of it depends upon resources—both financial and human resources…working on getting that facility up and ready,” he said.

Currently, there are three minors housed in His Majesty’s Prison, while other young boys have been entrusted to their parent’s and guardian’s care.

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