The Ministers of Public Administration and Communications and Education and the principal of Queen’s Royal College (QRC) along with members of the Old Boys’ Association and PTA today met and agreed on the process for QRC to pursue if it wishes to make a claim to the property formerly occupied by the Ministry of Education on Alexandra St., St.Clair.
The Ministerial delegation described the meeting as an edifying discussion and the beginning of talks between the two parties while the principal of the college, David Simon said he left the meeting “feeling very buoyed.”
During the discussion which lasted just over two (2) hours, the Minister of Education, the Honourable Anthony Garcia advised QRC that its proposal should be outlined in terms of the educational goals of the Ministry of Education. He indicated that he would like the discussions to continue but pleaded with the QRC representatives not to have those discussions in the media.
He also invited QRC to tour and examine the Alexandra St. building but warned them that the building in its current state is not suitable for human occupation. Minister Garcia reassured the QRC team that the aim of the government is to ensure there is quality education.
“What came out of our discussions, essentially was, that we are going to begin the conversation with respect to the best way forward for QRC; and the meeting has decided that we are going to have follow-up meetings perhaps with our technical officers to decide what would be best for Queens Royal College…” Minister Garcia said.
The Minister of Public Administration and Communications, the Honourable Maxie Cuffie outlined the process for the acquisition of government property and recommended that QRC frame and refine its proposal in the context of the current economic profile of the country since the previous proposals made by the college in 2004 and 2008, would not have been drafted with this in mind.
Minister Cuffie advised that “the process begins with QRC making a claim for an allocation to the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education will examine and if they support that claim they would make a request to the Ministry of Public Administration and Communications, through the Property and Real Estate Division (PRESD). PRESD will examine the claim and then prepare a Cabinet Note for the Minister. If the Minister supports the Note we will take it to Cabinet and Cabinet will make the ultimate decision.”
He warned that he cannot presume what the Cabinet’s decision will be.
For his part, QRC’s principal wanted to know how the Ministry of Education saw QRC’s plans fitting into the goals of the Ministry. Mr. Simon thanked the Ministers for giving the team a hearing and providing guidance on the way forward. He has promised to use that guide to frame the school’s claim to the property.
December 30, 2016