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HomeNewsLocal NewsWork begins at Cayon High School to address mould and infrastructural concerns

Work begins at Cayon High School to address mould and infrastructural concerns

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by Eulana Weekes

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Ministry of Education St. Kitts, on June 13, began the sanitisation and refurbishment of the Cayon High School in hopes that the institution will be in optimal condition for the reopening of school in September 2024.

The work to be done includes door and window repairs and replacement, fixing the drainage system, repairing the leaking roof and railings, and cleaning the facility professionally to address the mold situation.

As recalled in a statement from the  Ministry of Education, the Director of the Project and Building Management Unit within the Ministry of Education, Ms Melva Walters, said, “Early in the school term, we would have had an issue that developed. We would have done some investigations. We would have discovered a possible mold issue, so we moved quickly to get the experts from the Bureau of Standards to visit the institution and conduct the relevant tests. The samples were taken and sent off to get the results; the results revealed there were high levels of mold in some areas within the institution. Having received the results, we [Ministry of Education] promptly acted. We closed the institution and engaged in several site visits to help us pinpoint exactly what the issues are, where we need to focus our attention and what we need to do.”

Walters said the type of mold found was not dangerous.”

The extent of the issues at the Cayon High School was brought to light in March 2024 when the St. Kitts Teachers Union issued a statement urging the Ministry of Education to take urgent action to respond to the health and safety concerns previously brought to the Ministry’s attention.

The St.Kitts Teachers Union cited reports of health issues amongst the staff and student body at Cayon High School, including headaches, breathing difficulties, skin rashes, vision loss and organ damage.

The union suspected that the facility was infested with mold and strongly demanded the Ministry of Education for Air Quality and Mold Testing be done.

The Teachers Union repeatedly called out the Ministry of Education for lack of urgency, for it appeared that the matter would take a long time to be addressed.

However, testing was conducted first by the St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards and then by the independent company Breathe Easy.

The findings by both entities proved that it was necessary to undertake measures that would ensure the safety and security of the people who occupy the facility.

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