It seems a long time ago that I contributed to the design of the new Clifton Hunter High School in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands as Senior Education Advisor to the Minister. However, the new building went into operation this term and, guess what, the students love it, as do the may members of the public who have seen it. It was one of three high schools designed, two of which are being built.
The design work was undertaken under the previous very brave Minister of Education, Hon. Alden McLaughlin who took a personal interest in the Third Millennium development and based on a concept design by Prakash Nair (Fielding Nair) and designed by Cannon Design and feature in 'The Third Teacher' book. Professor Stephen Heppell also played a lead consultative role.
Aspects of the design did break boundaries in concept, but with a change of government after my departure it is now not as 'brave' ` design as was intended. People often retreat when really they should drive forward. the progress of the young people would really surprise them! It is especially possible in small countries like Cayman. However it is interesting to see the current Minister applaud the design.
Having also taught in the Cayman Islands was well as being a High School Principal there, I know just how fantastic these facilities are in comparison compared to the ones they had. However, given time and confidence, there is always the potential to revert to the original vision.
What is clear, is that the new facilities are causing a real pride amongst students with will surely reflect i the learning that takes place. I would love to go and visit them - I wonder if I will get the chance!