Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 24th 2015 Contents CHARLES KONG SOO
Tomorrow will make it 257 days
that the doors of the Arbor/
Rosewood schools remain closed
and this situation is negatively
affecting more than 200 students.
The parents are locked in battle on several
fronts with the Diego Martin Regional Cor-
poration s decision not to grant the necessary
approval to the schools board and taking the
matter to the court arena, objections from
the Lower Maraval Residents Association and
residents of Champs Elysées Road to the
opening of the schools at the location, claiming
it would cause massive traffic congestion in
In the latest development of the corporation
taking the schools board, EDFAM, to the
court and obtaining an injunction which pre-
vented the schools from opening at the start
of the new school term in September, last
year, the AG s office has removed itself from
the case, and the matter is still pending.
Several parents gathered to speak with the
Sunday Guardian about the issues at the
schools Long Circular Road, Maraval, location.
They were reluctant to give their full names
because several of them claimed they had
been verbally abused by some residents.
One of their major concerns was to allay
the fears of residents that the schools caused
traffic in the Maraval environs. Hector, the
spokesman for the parents, said there has
been no noticeable change in traffic patterns,
"we have the drone footage to substantiate
The Ministry of Planning, he said, has
approved the use of the building "contingent
on our operation of their traffic mitigation
plan which we re willing to abide by."
Part of the plan, Hector said, involves them
not using the Champs Elysées Road, in
Maraval, which was the major contention of
"This has not been effectively conveyed or
communicated to the residents because they
are not aware of it."
He said there was also provision for a school
car layby that can absorb 33 cars at a time.
Hector said that the schools had also staggered
drop off and collection times for the chil-
The schools had also been mandated to
consider a shuttle service. The parents had
even offered to bus kids in but this suggestion
was denied by the director of highways.
Another parent, Gina, said a third of the
students were temporarily located at the
Church of the Assumption, opposite the
schools. She said this confirmed traffic engi-
neer Dr Ray Furlonge s findings that the
schools activities did not disrupt traffic in
Leonard, a parent of a Prep 1 pupil, con-
curred that there was no back up of traffic
or near accidents caused by the schools. He
said when parents picked up their children,
they turned in the schools compound and
headed back West and they didn t contribute
to the traffic further down at the Maraval
Leonard said many students come from
the West, a considerable amount come from
within Maraval, and those from the East came
to the schools from the western side of the
schools bypassing the Maraval roundabout.
Saskia, a parent who lives in Maraval, said
there was no significant back up or traffic
congestion caused by the schools. She said
it would take her three to six minutes to go
through Boissiere Village on a normal day.
Saskia said nobody wanted to be caught in
traffic gridlock, if she encountered any, she
would just go the other way.
Helen, the mother of a Prep 2 pupil, said
that school board members, parents and
teachers were all under pressure.
She said several parents with four and six
children were hard pressed to send their chil-
dren to different locations, driving all over
town to their various temporary schools.
Helen said teachers conditions at
Arbor/Rosewood were not what they were
supposed to be.
She said that the school board was doing
everything it could to keep the school body
together, the parents united, hold events,
communicate with parents, but everybody
was facing a very difficult time and the sit-
uation was going on way too long.
Jeff said parents and teachers wanted the
opportunity to prove to the residents that
they intended to be their best neighbours. He
said nobody wanted to be part of the problem,
but to be part of the solution, and the parents
and teachers wanted to prove it to the res-
Jeff said, however, Arbor/Rosewood had
met the criteria requested of them, but there
were other schools in the vicinity which did
not and were granted approval by the author-
ities to operate.
The Diego Martin Regional Corporation
remained adamant in their stance for unknown
reasons, he said.
He said that more recently, residents seemed
to change their stance to say that the main
contention was one of urban creep into their
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SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2015
We want to be your best neighbours
Arbor/Rosewood's quiet and empty schools' playground at 129 Long Circular Road, Maraval.
Arbor/Rosewood's empty Prep 1-2 classroom at 129 Long Circular Road, Maraval.
Arbor/Rosewood's empty kindergarten classroom at Long Circular Road, Maraval.
PHOTOS: CHARLES KONG SOO
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