Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 5th 2014 Contents A9
Friday, September 5, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Corner Wilson & Warner Streets, St. Augustine
A group of residents from Mar-
aval have been given a boost in
their fight against the relocation
of two private schools into their
area. The Diego Martin Regional
Corporation is now expected to
issue a stop order against the
schools management next week.
Speaking with the T&T
Guardian yesterday afternoon,
councillor for the area Kern
Solomon said the corporation had
decided on the action after the
schools failed to respond to its
request for proof of planning per-
mission for alterations to the prop-
erty opposite the Church of the
Assumption at Long Circular
He said the order is expected
to be served next Monday on
EDFAM, the non-profit organi-
sation which runs the Arbor and
Rosewood Schools. Monday is the
date when the schools are expected
"It would have been served
sooner but the corporation s engi-
neer is ill and has promised to
deliver it as soon as she returns
to work on Monday," Solomon
Members of the Lower Maraval
Residents Association have been
advocating against the relocation
since they were consulted by
school officials in late July.
Through its Facebook page,
multiple letters to newspapers and
an online petition which has gath-
ered over 400 signatures, the
group has repeatedly claimed the
move would significantly increase
the already dire traffic situation
in the area on mornings and after-
After protests from Maraval residents...
Private schools to get
stop order next week
Contacted yesterday, director of EDFAM
Phillip Hamel-Smith denied his organisation
had failed to adhere to the corporation's
request made in mid-August.
Hamel-Smith said the corporation was
provided with the schools' applications to the
Town and Country Planning Division and to
the Ministry of Works for approval of
renovation work undertaken to convert the
building into schools, and a corresponding
traffic management plan.
But he admitted both applications were yet
to be approved because of internal delays by
both state agencies.
Despite the threats by the corporation,
Hamel-Smith said he could not delay the
opening of the schools any longer, as the
term had officially started last Tuesday.
He questioned the unflinching opposition to
the relocation by members of the association,
which he described as regrettable.
"I don't know any private school in Trinidad
that has a comprehensive pick-up plan as our
own. Our policy is to have no car coming to
our school stop, park or wait on the road. I
don't know what else we can do," a frustrated
Describing the group's members as
"loudmouths," Hamel-Smith said he had
personally done a survey among residents
and 224 people supported the schools'
Hamel-Smith said an empty lot next to the
controversial property has been developed to
serve as a car park and drop-off point, while
the landlord proposes to let the Government
use a piece of his property to widen the
intersection of Champs Elysées and Long
Hamel-Smith said in EDFAM's continuing
efforts to appease the residents and alleviate
their concerns, it held discussions with St
Andrew's Private School, also in lower
Maraval, to develop a joint traffic plan to
minimise the effects on residents.
He also denied allegations the property
was classified as residential, saying it had
been used for commercial purposes for more
than 14 years.
"It was a travel agency, furniture store,
carpet store, sushi restaurant and nightclub. I
don't know if they prefer those things to a
school," Hamel-Smith said.
He also said the proposed location was
only temporary because the schools were
projected to grow and would require more
"We are just using there for a year or two.
We are looking for a permanent home right
About the schools
The bi-lingual educational institutions, founded in 2008 and
2010, require parents seeking admission for their children to
make an $8,000 contribution to a capital fund, in addition to over
$15,000 in school fees.
Arbor is a kindergarten, while Rosewood is a primary and
secondary school for girls. The joint student population is
estimated at 220, in addition to 30 teachers.
EDFAM, the non-profit organisation which runs the two
schools, also runs Trimont College, a primary and secondary
school for boys at La Horquette Branch Road, Glencoe.
The pick-up and drop-off points
and access to the school
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