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Barnes: Arthur Richards Junior High School Is Ready For Students on Monday

FREDERIKSTED – Senator Alicia Barnes issued the following statement after participating in a walking tour of the Arthur Richards Junior High School modular classrooms on Thursday morning.

“I appreciated the Department of Education affording us the opportunity to have a walk-through of the Arthur Richards Jr. High School modular facilities,” Barnes said. “Based on the walk-through, it does appear that the Arthur Richards School is ready to begin accepting students on Monday. That’s welcome news to all students, parents, faculty and staff to begin to have learning and instruction in their home environment. I look forward to when we can begin permanent rebuilding efforts for the Arthur Richards Jr. High School.”

The freshman senator pointed out that the temporary school has no science labs.

“I will be making contact with the Commissioner nominee for the Department of Education to ensure that we do have at least two classrooms built out and outfitted for science labs.” she said. “It is important that our students have hands-on experience with actual laboratory activities. Students should be able to see science at work. “

Senator Barnes said she is asking a local landscaping company to donate time and materials to making the temporary school look better.

“There’s a need for picnic benches in the vicinity of the modular units as well,” she said. “I will also be reaching out to the department to ensure that there is a proper preventative maintenance plan for the waste water treatment facility that is on the site. Congratulations once again to the Department of Education for meeting this milestone. I pledge my support in partnering with the department and their initiatives moving forward.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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