We are heartened by the recent opening of the $4.3 million replacement for the Jost Van Dyke Primary School, a well-conceived and well-executed project that should serve as a model for future infrastructure works.

For too long after the 2017 hurricanes, the school’s students were sadly neglected. At times, they attended classes at Foxy’s Tamarind Bar, and they later ferried to Tortola to learn at the Leonora Delville Primary School in Cappoons Bay.

Even prior to 2017, the school was in a state of disrepair and inadequate to meet residents’ needs — as has historically been the case for many government-owned facilities on Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda and Anegada.

The new three-storey, 14,000-square-foot school appears sufficient to educate many future generations of JVD students if it is properly funded and maintained.

We applaud the fact that the building was constructed with hurricane readiness in mind and is large enough to accommodate future growth.

Wisely, policymakers also planned for the facility to be used for multiple purposes: a community centre; a satellite campus of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College; and a community library.

Particularly on an island as small as JVD, this approach makes perfect sense.

Indeed, the JVD project, executed by Quality Construction Limited after a tender process, shows how infrastructure projects can proceed efficiently through proper planning, transparency, accountability and smart execution.

Tellingly, the project — like the recent Elmore Stoutt High School rebuild — was another effort managed by the Recovery and Development Agency, which boasts a strong track record for work completed since its 2018 founding.

Unfortunately, however, the RDA has been severely limited in the projects it can carry out because the government has not secured nearly enough money to fund the public-sector hurricane recovery, which remains largely stalled.

As the government continues negotiations to secure the additional infrastructure loans that Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley has promised, most of the funding should be earmarked for the RDA, which appears to spend its funds wisely.

That’s not to say the JVD project was flawless: Procurement delays and logistical challenges pushed back the envisioned opening from September 2023 to January 2024. But 17 months from contract signing to completion is nevertheless an impressive turnaround relative to many other government projects.

Dr. Wheatley rightly stated at the school’s opening that government has a “moral responsibility” to ensure “equity across the board” for all the territory’s residents.

That sentiment will be welcomed on the sister islands, which often struggle with inadequate medical facilities, subpar sanitation infrastructure, crumbling roads, and related woes.

We hope Dr. Wheatley’s sentiment will continue to be put into practice.