Seventy years after construction was completed on this massive and mostly wooded structure which houses the Government Technical Institute remains standing.
Maybe parts of the institution’s motto of “knowledge and skills through training.” has something to do with the knowledge and skills which were put into the construction of the building that would have it standing this long.
The GTI began operations in May of 1951 where it was temporary accommodayed in the Queen’s College compound. By July of the same year it moved moved to Woolford Avenue, Non-Pariel Park, Georgetown.
The institution’s original purpose was to provide training in craft skills, but by July 1956, Technician level courses were introduced and by September 1961, Diploma level programmes were included which brought the total number of courses offered to thirty eight. Those are divided into Full Time, Day-Release, and Evening courses.
“70 years for a wooden structure to be standing is history but what we need to understand is that if we don’t sustain and maintain that kind of thing, it is going to have issues,” Principal of the Institute, Renita Crandon-Duncan, said during an interview on Focus with BIG Smith.
The Principal revealed that the Institute recently suffered from termites that had taken over the walls of the building. As such, she said, “Although a wall may look real fancy and painted and so on, we were shocked to find out what was happening beyond.”
Recognising that there is much work that needs to be done, Crandon-Duncan explained that she envisions a state of the art Institute that can show what they do.
“It would be my dream to see this whole place transform to actually look like it’s a modern technical-vocational institute. Like sometimes we see the students themselves would have posters and pictures where they would look at GTI in 2020, GTI in 2022 and as a real state of the art building.”
She added, “We had another set of students who actually did a project where they designed an entire landscape of GTI where they utilize solar and green and glass and those kinds of things and moved away from the whole wooden structure, 1951 look.”
Notwithstanding the years the building has been standing, Crandon-Duncan declared that the goal is to ensure that the environment is safe and secure for all students.
“And I think that is something we have to seriously work towards, ensuring that our structure is being maintained, and it calls for a whole lot of work,” the Principal concluded.