Thursday, June 13, 2024

San Pedro Catholic Church plans to relocate primary school


The San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) is the oldest school on the island, opening in the 1920s in the center of town. However, its current location is no longer suitable for the hundreds of students it serves, especially given the traffic congestion plaguing the town, with roads wrapping around the school’s walls. As a solution, there are plans to relocate the school to the southern part of town in the coming years.
The San Pedro Sun spoke with Father Eduardo Montemayor, the Priest at the Roman Catholic Church currently in charge of SPRCS, to learn more about the school’s planned relocation. According to Montemayor, the current school is over capacity, turning away more than 50 students yearly due to a lack of space. Therefore, there is an urgent need to build a bigger school.

Father Eduardo Montemayor

To alleviate this problem, Father Montemayor indicated that the church received a larger property south of town that they call “Little Nazareth” as a donation. This property is almost six times bigger than the current primary school. The new location will provide more space for growth and be built to withstand hurricanes. With this relocation, they aim to create a school that can accommodate 1300 students.
The plan for a new school location also presents an opportunity to build a vocational high school, which they plan to call “San Pedro Vocational High School.” The southern part of the property will be reserved for the primary school, while the northeastern part will be for the high school. They intend to partner with at least 50 different employers in San Pedro, and if they can give them an entry-level position, they can provide them with four to eight students every week to mentor in that vocation. This will help pay for the students’ education, and they will gain valuable work experience that will teach them a good work ethic and prepare them for the workforce.
The plan is to have six or seven vocational disciplines, including a cooking school, carpentry shop, and air conditioning repair shop. By the time the students graduate from high school, they will have a high school degree, a certificate for their vocation, and hopefully job offers from the company they have mentored with. The high school will accommodate at least 400 students, which will complement the needs of San Pedro’s growing population.
The church is currently negotiating with a developer to use the land where the primary school is located as collateral to build the new schools. The process will take at least two years to complete. Once the new buildings are complete, the old property will go to the developers. The developers plan to open up Pescador Drive (middle street), which goes right through the school property, to remove the traffic and transform it into parking lots for the airport and a walking mall to adapt to tourists’ traffic flow. They are still carefully considering how to prevent traffic jams on the main roads of the southern part of the town.
Although there has yet to be a date set for the school’s relocation, Father Montemayor hopes they can start working on this exciting project soon.

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