BTVI Student Praised For Service to Urban Renewal
A Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institution’s (BTVI) carpentry student, Elkanah Jaroy Cooper got his just due recently when he was highlighted as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of a new home constructed on Bola Alley and Finlayson Street.
The housing project, which took nine months, is an initiative of the Bain and Grants Town Urban Renewal centre. It has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen and living room.
Among the areas of construction Elkanah helped with included – but was not limited to – laying the foundation, installing windows, dry wall, sheet rock and painting. In fact, he opted not to attend BTVI this semester because he felt compelled to help Stacey Ferguson and her family, which includes four children and two other adults.
“It was an opportunity given by God. I am still following the trade as I come from a family of contractors. I love this work; this is my heart and soul,” said Elkanah who intends to return to BTVI in January.
Officer in charge of the centre, Inspector Anthony Rolle, said assessment of the family’s initial home proved that it was structurally unsound. Hence, he began the search for a contractor but found it difficult for anyone to do the work pro bono.
However, when Inspector Rolle approached BTVI’s Dean of Construction Trades, Alexander Darville, he was excited about the prospects and they entered a partnership where the 11 BTVI students would help construct the home as part of the internship component of their programs. BTVI student, Shaquille Thurston was also highlighted at the event for stellar service.
“We prepare our students for the world of work and this was an excellent example. We didn’t want them to just build a house, but to do so effectively. We love the idea that they were exposed to the different disciplines, “said Mr. Darville.
Meanwhile, proprietor of PGA Electrical and Building Supply, Paul Hepburn, lauded Elkanah as an “aggressive young man with a bright future ahead.”
Also, National Security Minister and Member of Parliament for Bain and Grants Town, the Honourable Dr. Bernard Nottage, admitted to initial skepticism about the project, but quickly realized the sincerity and passion behind the initiative.
“Many willingly contributed. We need to be kind to one another, contributing to someone else’s benefit…every nail knocked was not because anyone was getting any money, but because they wanted to do something for others,” he emphasized.
BTVI was one of 22 generous sponsors of the project.
STAR WORKER – BTVI was one of 22 generous sponsors of an Urban Renewal house built on the corners of Bola Alley and Finlayson Street. Shown from left to right are: Alexander Darville, BTVI’s Dean of Construction Trades; National Security Minister and MP for Bain and Grants Town, the Honourable Dr. Bernard Nottage; BTVI carpentry student, Elkanah Jaroy Cooper and Assistant Manager and Academic Dean, Valdez K. Russell.