The spot where Enis Adams Primary School used to stand is now nothing but a wide plot of dirt.
But on Tuesday, four shovels planted in the ground hinted at what will come over the next year and a half: a new state-of-the-art facility for students who have been without a permanent school after Hurricane Irma.
The building sustained major structural damage during the storm and was recently demolished — while most Enis Adams students have integrated into the Althea Scatliffe Primary School building for the time being.
During a ground-breaking ceremony for the new school, government ministers announced that the founder of Road Town Wholesale, Peter Haycraft, has volunteered to fund the project.
“Financing is guaranteed, right through to the last brick, no matter what it costs,” Mr. Haycraft said on Tuesday.
To build back stronger, the United Kingdom company REIDsteel is importing the frame for the school building. In the past, the company has built structures for the Rite Way store in Virgin Gorda and for Road Town Wholesale on Tortola.
Newton Construction Company will be the general contractor on the site and will help install the structure.
“Any building I build is always a Reids building,” Mr. Haycraft said. “And all of them — without exception — survived the hurricane. God forbid we have anything like Irma again, but it will survive.”
Education and Culture Minister Myron Walwyn described what the campus will look like, saying that it will include seven classrooms, two lecture halls, a computer lab, a science lab, an auditorium and more.
The school — along with others around that territory that are on the list to be rebuilt — will have other upgraded features, including Smart Boards, solar panels, wheelchair access, and infrastructure that can withstand 185 mile-per-hour winds and magnitude four earthquakes, the minister said.
Government officials and others who spoke at the ceremony also took time to praise the face of the school, the late Enis Adams.
“She not only saw the building as an institution for academics and learning, but she used it more like a community centre,” said her brother, Edwin Adams.
Mr. Walwyn added that come September 2019, the next generation of students will be able to carry on the legacy that Ms. Adams began decades ago.
“She made a foundation with a lot of young people in that time to receive educational opportunities that would not have been otherwise available to them if they didn’t leave the village,” the minister said.