March 2022 Volume 18

The Science Block Upgrade Project

Rainford ‘Perry’ Bloomfield
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The genesis of this project started nearly 2 years ago when Ms Kayann Nelson, head of the Biology department and I had a great conversation, in which she presented the case to repair and upgrade the Biology labs.

At the time, her hope was to have the repairs completed by the start of school in September 2020. She was encouraged to prepare a written proposal outlining what repairs were needed and how the improvements would be of benefit to the students, however, the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic stalled the effort.

To her great credit, Ms. Nelson was not deterred and reconnected in February of last year, producing a document that detailed the damages to the lab, shared the experiences of both students and teachers in the space, and provided a quote for lab supplies that would be needed. Along with the Principal’s approval, I now had all that was necessary to make a case to the Board of KCOBA USA Inc and to engage our donors.

The board of KCOBA was eager to support the effort and a part of our initial strategy was to involve Fortis brothers who had a background in the sciences and in some cases were still working in the field. Errol Lecky with his history of supporting mission Fortis and the sciences in particular, took the packaged email from Ms. Nelson and started the broader appeal with his circle of influence.

With the fundraising effort starting to bear fruit, I was confident that we would be able to pull off upgrading the Biology labs and in June I shared what I felt was exciting news with Principal Myrie. Before I got off the phone, Principal Myrie said, "Perry, we will have to prioritize Chemistry and Physics labs, the entire science block need that type of support."

Having been brought back down to Earth I notified the board of directors of the new scope of work that was needed and though I was at the end of my tenure as President, I was committed to getting the project funded. The impetus to continue came from a conversation with five potential donors, having identified that the additional work would likely quadruple the cost, they gave assurances that they would still be onboard providing I was able to relay confidence in the project with a fixed budget and timeline. Fired up about the possibilities, I worked with Principal Myrie, as busy as he was, he put me on to the contractor the school was working with, and I was able to contribute to the final proposal to refurbish and upgrade all three science labs.

I took the liberty of sharing the first draft of the proposal with a donor to get feedback on its merit. Surprisingly, he called me two days later committing to donate the deposit required to get the construction work started. Needless to say, the new president of KCOBA USA, Dwayne Montaque and Principal Myrie were happy. And so, the Biology Lab upgrade became the KC Science Labs Upgrade and Replenishment Project.

The work commenced September 1, 2021 and in February, 2022 we sent out our third update showing video presentation of the completed (unofficiall) Science Block upgrade project, the principal’s final sign off is needed to make it official. At the time of writing, late February, the principal and bursar have done their walkthroughs and the contractor is now finalizing work based on their feedback.

I coordinated with the all three Heads of Department - Ms. Nelson (Biology), Dr. Jarrett (Chemistry), and Father Michael Brown (Physics); the contractor; and Principal Dave Myrie, meeting almost weekly to get to this point.

You can still get involved in this project. Now that the labs have been repaired and upgraded, the next step is to replenish all three labs with supplies with an expected expenditure of J$3 - 5M and another J$2 Milion to refurbish and paint the exterior of the Science Block.

Together we can do so much more for our alma mater as we approach our 100 th anniversary. Connect with your local KC Old Boys Organization and make your best effort count towards mission Fortis.

Click the links below to download video files for of each lab provided by the contractor:

BiologyLab Update.2.15.2022.mp4

ChemistryLab Update.2.15.2022.mp4

PhysicsLab Update.2.15.2022.mp4

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