Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
Minister for Education, Youth Affairs and Sports Honourable Sharie B. de Castro said she is satisfied to see the completion of the Elmore Stoutt High School Redevelopment project which has paved the way for students to return to a full day of classes.
Honourable deCastro said after five school years and one term, the full complement of staff and students of the Elmore Stoutt High School will teach and learn on the same campus, for full day school for the first time since the storms of 2017.
In her remarks at the opening ceremony on Tuesday, January 3 the Minister said, “For some students, their entire high school journey has been impacted by dislocation, isolation, lockdowns, virtual learning and shift and hybrid schedules. Let me hammer it home. The time has come! After five school years and one term, tomorrow the full complement of staff and students of the Elmore Stoutt High School will teach and learn on the same campus, for full day school for the first time since the storms of 2017. In this moment, at this time, the gratitude and pride that I feel as an alumna, former teacher, now Minister, is unexplainable.”
The August floods and hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, completely devastated the school campus and displaced administration, teachers and students. The Government of the Virgin Islands constructed the L. Adorothy Turnbull building in 2019 allowing for junior students to return to a full day of class after sharing a shift system with senior students at the Clarence Thomas Building at Pasea Estate.
Honourable de Castro said the completion of the new building signified a major investment in the infrastructure that supports education in the Virgin Islands and pledged government’s continued commitment to the development of education in the Territory.
“In the 2023 budget, this Government committed to giving more funding to education to address the specific areas that have been identified, especially over the last few months during stakeholder consultations. My team and I met with educators in order to understand what they consider to be some of the most pressing matters in education. We collectively came up with some top priorities that we believed to be manageable and crucial to effectively transform education in this Territory. During the budget process some of these priorities were highlighted in an effort to seek additional funding to facilitate them and funding was granted.”
Honourable de Castro paid tribute to former High School Principal Mr. Elmore Stoutt after whom the school is named and extended gratitude to the Government of the Virgin Islands for its collaboration with the team at the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) and the project’s contractors Quality Construction, Autland Heavy Equipment Ltd., Metro Construction, Northam and SunLeaf Construction, and No Limit Construction.
The Elmore Stoutt High School is the largest secondary school in the Territory that facilitates teaching and learning for about 150 educators and just over 1400 students.