OIL NUT BAY’S NORTH SOUND FOUNDATION BREAKS GROUND TO REBUILD THE ROBINSON O’NEAL MEMORIAL PRIMARY SCHOOL IN NORTH SOUND, VIRGIN GORDA, BVI
The Significant Rebuild Will Include Improved Design Elements Built to Hurricane Standards, Expanded Classrooms, Upgraded Sustainability Technology and More, Set to Be Complete by the 2018 Academic Year
Design Renderings by OBMI
VIRGIN GORDA (April 2, 2017) – Oil Nut Bay’s North Sound Foundation (NSF), Virgin Gorda and BVI officials and principal of The Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School broke ground on the school’s significant rebuilding plan just five months after Hurricane Irma swept through Virgin Gorda, causing substantial damage to the community. The North Sound Foundation (NSF), a nonprofit created to focus on Virgin Gorda and support and enhance the greater British Virgin Islands community, founded by Oil Nut Bay developer David V. Johnson and his wife, Pamela Johnson, revealed key design elements that will allow the school to withstand future hurricanes.
Due to the generous donations from Oil Nut Bay homeowners and friends following Irma’s wake, the NSF is able to implement key design elements that will allow The Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School to withstand future hurricanes, such as concrete roofs and hurricane rated glass windows. Lead architects, OBM International, improved the school’s design by increasing the overall square footage, adding a second story, increasing the number of classrooms, creating additional storage and covered courtyard for its current 107 students and future generations to use. The entire space will be air-conditioned, WiFi enabled and include a solar array and storage battery to offset its energy consumption.
“The North Sound Foundation has been an integral part of our community’s recovery and I am so thankful to the generous donors and volunteers who have graciously committed to the cause,” said David V. Johnson, founder and developer of the Oil Nut Bay resort community in Virgin Gorda. “The North Sound Foundation was committed to improving the community before Irma and we’ll be here long after Irma. Through the NSF, we have pledged or spent over $1,000,000 in the BVI community, and we have been appreciative of the partnership we continue to have with the Government and people of this beautiful territory.”
“Just days after Hurricane Irma hit, Mr. Johnson and The North Sound Foundation were the first to answer our call to local businesses for assistance to help rebuild our schools that were destroyed,” said Minister for Education and Culture, Honourable Myron V. Walwyn. “With the help of Mr. Johnson and his team, we now have the opportunity to rebuild the Robinson O’Neal School to be a 21st century school in the Virgin Islands with sustainable technology and Wifi access across the campus; whenever the school called on Mr. Johnson he was there to answer, myself and the students are very thankful for your ongoing commitment.”
“It was heartbreaking to see the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and what it did to the local community,” said James McDonald, Architectural Designer at OBMI. “When Oil Nut Bay reached out to us to help in this restoration effort, we jumped at the opportunity. We are proud of being able to give back to the community we’ve been working with for so long. I’m very happy to have this opportunity to be a part of this project and are looking forward to the day when the students will be back in their classrooms.”
The North Sound Foundation continues to fund-raise to support The Robinson O’Neal Memorial School rebuilding project as well as other critical projects throughout the community. NSF has so far aided in ongoing cleanup, provided various supplies and has been working closely with the BVI government to give aid to communities most in need. For years, the NSF “adopted” The Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School in the North Sound. NSF has placed computers in all the class rooms, provided supplies to the school, introduced the school to green methods of transportation and provided excursions to Oil Nut Bay, among other activities.
The NSF’s ongoing efforts offer assistance to nonprofit cultural, educational, environmental, health and human service organizations throughout the North Sound and Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. Through a series of grants that empower the community, organizations such as the BVI public schools, St. Mary’s Schools, KATS, Special Olympics BVI and the BVI Fishing Clubs have benefited from the North Sound Foundation over the years.
The NSF invites and encourages the public to join in relief efforts in support of Virgin Gorda and the BVI. For more information on how to donate, please visit the North Sound Foundation donation web page.