A Recent Visit to The St. Andrew High School for Girls

Well…I hadn’t been back in about 8 or 9 years but I’d heard that there were big changes to the school.  What I heard was certainly correct!  I really wasn’t in a hurry to visit St. Andrew’s campus.  High school was an uncomfortable time; I just didn’t fit in and I felt awkward.  I often felt agitated just by walking through the gates.  Sometimes I think I even looked awkward.  Surprise.  I went intending to visit the new museum, which turned out to be closed (but that’s another story involving a very rude person answering the phone  and giving me incorrect information).  During my early July 2011 visit I saw that major renovation was being done to the Main Building.  Finally!  As it turned out, I actually felt good to be back on campus…I wasn’t there when classes were in session but I could easily see students walking to classes, waiting to be picked up in the evenings, or having lunch.  The atmosphere of the place felt different to me…maybe it was because I am far removed from being a student, I don’t know…but I think that part of it is because of the improvements that have been made over the 13 years since I graduated.  Somehow the campus felt more welcoming…

I’d intended to share some of these pictures around the time of the school’s 86th anniversary (going strong since September 21, 1925!) but late last week I received an email that compels me share them now.  The school needs funding to complete the renovation to the Main Building.  Principal Mrs. Sharon Reid has written to “all stakeholders” (don’t like that term…but anyway) to let us know that the original cost of the renovation has more than doubled because of issues that were only discovered after the renovation began.  The cost is now JA$7.5 up from JA$3 million.  According to Mrs. Reid the renovation and fixing the newly discovered problems are necessary for the safety of students.  I definitely believe her about safety because that building was not very shipshape when I attended!  The Main Building is about 70 years old.  Why renovate instead of tear down and rebuild? Well, tearing down and rebuilding would have apparently cost more than JA$138 million. *insert shocked look*  To be honest though, I like that they’re renovating because I love the Main Building; it’s such an identifiable building on the campus it would have been sad to see it go.  I always felt cocconed in there, and it’s a great place to sit and read when it’s raining.  If you can donate (no donation is too small) please do so to the “Operations Development Fund a/c # 1000099978 at FirstCaribbean Bank HWT under advice to us” and let the school know about it too (ask for someone senior…as I said, there’s a problem with the folks who answer the phone *ahem*).  The school’s bursar will be sending me the information for overseas donations and I will update this post with that information.

So, Ladies…Old Girls…get to it..let’s give some other young women the chance for Life More Abundant!

p.s. it would be nice if  we could work on some of the landscaping by the pool and field…and the pool

The Main Building -- under construction.

more construction...so much time sitting under those mango trees waiting for Mommy!

During the renovation, more problems were discovered with the stairs (one of the main reasons for the reno) + rewiring and refurbishment of the bathrooms was done.

The back of the administrative buildings...near where the Nurse's station used to be. Pink Lady, anyone?


The Dahlia Repole Complex connects the Physical Education and A/V buildings.

The side of the Dahlia Repole Complex that overlooks the pool.

See what I mean about landscaping? And the pool. In time I hope...

By the A/V Center...looks so spiffy!

Cecelio Park - located behind the A/V Center and adjacent to the 5th Form and Science blocks...

Really lovely spot.

Life More Abundant!

Reflection...I'd have loved to have access to this spot when I attended. Great for doing homework and reading.

Behind the Fifth Form Block.

The Emrie James Museum (Follow on Twitter: @SAHSMuseum)

Currently on the Museum’s Facebook page there is an inter-house Facebook competition…of course, Darling is in the lead *smug look*  If you haven’t already voted, you have until September 15 to click for your house!  The Museum was written about in The Jamaica Observer and the newspaper also posted a video featuring Emrie James.  (Mr. Holness’ comment though…hmm.)  The school also now has a Foundation.  You can learn more about it here.  Donations to the Foundation are welcome at any time.

The Garden Theatre. The days of trekking up to Merl Grove for the Awards Ceremony are over!


9 Responses to “A Recent Visit to The St. Andrew High School for Girls”
  1. Reneé says:

    The reflection spot what I was most impressed with. And don’t worry you weren’t the only one who felt awkward in hs

  2. shumpynella says:

    Photos made me smile and reminded me I need to visit – I lost my sense of direction quite a number of times…I await instructions on donations and plan to help. I’m off to go vote for Andy house 🙂

  3. Marsha says:

    Thanks for this, brought back
    memories… I definately need to pay
    a visit.

  4. CONGRATS! This is a very nice blog. As an Old Girl myself, I quite agree that the school ‘feels’ more inviting. Cecelio Park’s mediation area coupled with Essentials Bookstore would have done wonders in my day. By the way, sorry to hear about that unpleasant telephone experience.

    Regarding the museum, it’s a pity you didn’t speak with someone in the Main Office at the school. Accommodations would have been made for visitors to the museum especially SAHS alumna. Please note: The Emrie James Museum is currently staffed by SAHS past students and retired teachers. In my capacity as volunteer, I hastily invite you to consider contacting sahsmuseum@gmail.com for further information about joining the museum’s social media team.

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