Graham-Royal, who became principal of the institution in 2014, said fixing the pool will be her next ‘big’ project and said she does not intend to begin the project until she is sure she has all the money to complete it as she does not want to start and not be able to finish. “(I need) at least three quarters of it because it wouldn’t make sense; it means work would have stopped,” she told The Gleaner. Students of the school, who train to be teachers of physical education, must now use a tiny pool in Old Harbour for swimming lessons. “So I have to pay more than $10,000 monthly for them to learn to swim. You’re not a complete PE teacher until you’re able to swim,” Graham-Royal, herself a graduate of the G.C. Foster College, who later studied abroad, said. “When I went to the University of Mainz in Germany to study, I could not graduate until I learned to swim,” she added. Meanwhile, Graham-Royal also noted that the institution as also losing money as there were some interested parties who would have used the facility had it been operational. “Just this morning some students from a university in Canada called. They had a contingent of 50 and wanted to come for the summer,” she said. “So we are missing all of that. We really do need some private sector injection. We can’t do it otherwise,” she concluded. GETTING THE MONEY The state of the swimming pool at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport has been a sore point for decades. Current principal of the institution, Dr Joyce Graham-Royal, said it will cost $91 million to repair the facility, which has never been used since it was built in 1980. In late 2014, Minister of Sport Natalie Neita-Headley had announced that Government would be donating the funds to repair the pool via the Sports Development Foundation. However, Graham-Royal told The Gleaner yesterday that she had since learned that the funds, which had been earmarked for the pool work, had been spent on refurbishing the synthetic track at the institution, which was reopened last October. The track cost $171 million to repair. Graham-Royal said because of the clay soil at the Spanish Town-based sporting college, repairing the track had cost much more than the projected figure. Successive principals over the last few years have threshed around with the idea and as recently as 2008, the estimate to repair the Olympic-sized swimming and diving pools was at $50 million.
Grand Gedeh County Senator Alphonso Gaye has expressed fear on the over crowdedness of Senators from the ‘Old Order,’ in the President Pro Tempore’s race, arguing that there is a need for them to be united under a single candidate.Sen. Gaye urged veteran Senators to have combined front in order to champion the unique idea, of winning the coveted seat ahead of the freshman Senators.The Grand Gedeh lawmaker said the troop of Senators in the race for the 2nd top position at the Liberian Senate has the propensity of defeating the cause and objective of protecting the morale of the Upper Chamber, but rather give ‘Freshman Senators’ the urge to amalgamated against themselves.Senator Gaye made the remarks yesterday in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer, during which he formally declined his interest for the Pro Tempore post.He joined Bong County Senator Chief Jewel Howard-Taylor, who had earlier declined because of similar reasons.Senator Gaye, who is also the Chairman of the Grand Gedeh Legislative Caucus, further argued that they have to prove to be politically mature and wise in the handling the race for a cause. The Senator’s observation is stemmed from expressions of interest from four Senators from the Old Oder, which include Senators Joseph Nagbe (Sinoe County), Armah Z. Jallah (Gbapolu), Oscar Cooper (Margibi) and Dan Morias (Maryland County).Reliable reports gather say, Grand Kru Senator, Dr. Peter Coleman has also expressed his interest for the President Pro Tempore position.The Grand Gedeh Senator has dispelled reports of not being a member of the Senate Majority Bloc, saying that all members of the ‘Old Order’ are automatically members of the Bloc which is aimed to elect one of their ‘kinds’ at the Pro Tempore seat.Sen. Gaye, is the Chairman on the Committee of Public Corporations; Co-chairman on Autonomous Commission and Agencies and Co-chairman on the Statutory Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, after successfully serving as Chairman on the Sub-committee on Revenue and Finance.Prior to going to the Upper House of the National Legislature, Sen. Gaye served as Financial Specialist for USAID-Liberia from 2001 – 2005. He got into government where he served for16 years at the Ministry of Finance in several positions, ranging from Account Specialist to Commissioner of Customs. He also served as the Director General of the General Services Agency (GSA) and then Minister of Transport.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)