Fifth Form Block Commissioned at SNRA
A new fifth form and physical education (PE) block has been added to Sir Novelle Richards Academy through a donation from Italian billionaire businessman, Leonardo Del Vecchio, through his foundation Pavillon Foundazone Leonardo Del Vecchio.
Constructed at a cost of US$ 1.6 million, the building was dedicated last Friday with government and education officials in attendance.
Addressing the ceremony, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said initially, the funding was earmarked to facilitate improvements in the health sector, specifically cardiac and renal facilities but it was determined upgrading of the school was necessary to accommodate fifth formers.
He thanked the Del Vecchio’s for their generosity and for assisting Antigua and Barbuda in its “developmental quest” by exercising corporate responsibility.
“I hope that other very wealthy people who would have made Antigua and Barbuda their home will follow your lead to make similar contributions,” the prime minister told the audience.
He also pointed out that the project, from discussion to construction, will be used as a model in approaching others for assistance.
“There are many wealthy people who have lived in Antigua and Barbuda over the decades. Many of them at Mill Reef Club, Jumby Bay and other areas on the island, but unfortunately have not been well integrated into the society. Our government is making a special effort to engage these individuals, to have them integrated into the society and to obviously have them contribute to the upliftment of our people, especially our youth,” the head of government asserted.
Minister of Education and Sports, Daryll Matthew, applauded Mr. and Mrs. Del Vecchio for their tangible contribution to the country’s development, declaring: “This is another step in building out our education system to meet the needs of Antiguans and Barbudans for generations yet unborn.”
Sir Novelle Richards Academy was opened in 2017 and is today one of the most highly sought after public secondary institutions by parents of secondary school aged children.
Minister Matthew is confident that with the latest expansion and continued build out of the school, Sir Novell Richards Academy will eventually become the largest school in the country.
Mr. Del Vecchio was in attendance at Friday’s ceremony. His wife said they are “happy and proud” to contribute to the construction of the fifth form and PE Block through their foundation.
Leonardo Del Vecchio owns Luxottica, the largest eye glasses conglomerate in the world. It includes popular brands such as Ray-Ban, Oakley and Sun-Glass Hut.