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April 15, 2010

Recovery in Action: New Kitchen Equipment for Schools

Flanked by Deputy School Superintendent Joseph Sibilly and Acting School Lunch Director Esther Lynch-Isaak, Governor de Jongh on Tuesday toured the kitchen of the Lockhart Elementary School on St. Thomas to see firsthand how the school’s $200,000 in federal stimulus monies was put to use. The school’s kitchen serves as a satellite feeding center for other schools in the district. 

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. inspects new tipping skillet at Lockhart Elementary School kitchen. The skillet and other much-needed equipment was purchased with federal stimulus dollars awarded the territory under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, ARRA. To the governor’s right is Acting School Lunch Director, Esther Lynch-Isaak.

With the stimulus funds, the Virgin Islands government was able to purchase six large pieces of equipment, including a much needed tipping skillet and a double convection oven for Lockhart Elementary. At the present time, the school is also working on a solar hot water project that should be finished by the end of this month.

Listen to the Governor's Remarks .mp3 (2MB)

The Governor said that the $200,000 provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was split equally between the two districts, with the funds going toward needed equipment at some of the bigger kitchens. These include the kitchens at Charlotte Amalie High School, Lockhart and the E. Benjamin Oliver elementary schools on St. Thomas. The governor also noted that another round of funding is expected shortly for school kitchens, this time coming from the Public Finance Authority. 

During Tuesday’s tour, Sibilly informed the governor that renovations are substantially completed at other schools in the district including Ulla F. Muller Elementary and Addelita Cancryn Junior High School. Renovations are planned at Julius Sprauve School on St. John, along with Joseph Gomez Elementary on St. Thomas.

In a discussion with reporters after the school tour, de Jongh said that revamping the schools' recreational facilities, such as basketball courts, are also on the priority list as the government continues to make use of federal economic stimulus funds.

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