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Gov. Mapp Says He Is Committed To Improving Educational Opportunities For St. Johnians


mapp in meeting

CRUZ BAY — Gov. Kenneth Mapp said Thursday that his Administration remains committed to establishing after school and other programs for St. John’s youth.

The governor and staff toured the shuttered Guy Benjamin School in Coral Bay, where plans are now underway to develop it as a multi-purpose community center. The school was closed in 2014 due to falling enrollment and remains in relatively good condition despite overgrown grass.

Mapp said he supports the plan for a community center and that its primary focus would be on academic enrichment and afterschool programs, which would be funded through recent federal grants awarded to the Department of Education for that purpose. The community center would also house music and vocational education courses and be the home of the Coral Bay VIPD substation.

The governor and other cabinet members are on St. John this week meeting with residents and business people and making assessments of the island’s roads, public buildings and infrastructure.

Thursday’s agenda included a tour of the island’s recreational facilities with Sports, Parks and Recreation Department staff and a meeting with the Mapp-Potter Administration’s Financial Team.

The group also looked at potential sites for a new school in the Cruz Bay area – a long standing problem on St. John with little available land.

mapp in STJ

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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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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 40 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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