The Ministry of Education says the owner of the Old Tech Steel Orchestra was asked by the San Fernando West Secondary School to find alternative accommodation for their pans and other equipment because of severe space constraints on the compound.
A statement by the ministry says the school is also preparing for the new intake of Form One students, following the Secondary Entrance Assessment SEA) Examination.
"Since 1994, then Principal of the school allowed band leader, Sean Ramsey a space to store the pans and to practise. However, in 2008 fire destroyed fifteen (15) classrooms, the staff room, library and audio-visual rooms at the school. A prefabricated structure was later built to accommodate seven classrooms, however, the school continues to utilise rooms allocated for the Guidance Office, Local School Board for classrooms because of severe space constraints," the ministry said in a media statement Tuesday.
It added that over the years, the principal has also reported to band leader Sean Ramsey, concerns about vandalism, indiscipline and the non-supervision of persons on the compound after school hours for practise sessions.
It added: "A meeting was held on February 27th, 2013 with officials of Pan Trinbago, bandleader, Sean Ramsay and the then principal, where a decision was taken to terminate the school’s relationship with Old Tech Steel Orchestra. In addition, a request was made for the early removal of pans and other equipment from the compound with proper documentation. On August 22nd 2014, another meeting was convened and a deadline of mid-October, 2014 was agreed upon by both parties for the removal of all pans and equipment belonging to the band."
The ministry said that in a letter dated January 27th, 2015 to then Principal (Ag) from Attorney-At-Law Ernest H. Koylas and Company, it was stated that the Old Tec Orchestra needed until July 15th, 2015 to relocate as they were unable to secure an alternative site.
"The Ministry of Education responded to Ernest H. Koylass & Company on December 27th 2017 advising that it was unable to accede to his client’s request for an extension of time for a further six (6) months for use of the San Fernando West Secondary School. The Ministry further advised that all instruments and/ or other items belonging to Mr. Ramsay and the Orchestra be removed no later than 12thJanuary, 2018," the statement said.