For over 100 years, the O’Hare Building has been synonymous with the prestigious St George’s College in Kingston, Jamaica.
The building has been a popular hangout spot and a safe space for the thousands of Georgians across the diaspora who once passed through its doors. But like many decades-old buildings, the iconic structure has gradually deteriorated and is now in need of renovations.
That’s why St Georges Old Boys in Jamaica and across the diaspora have come together to launch the O’Hare Building Restoration project.
Christopher Chin, of the St Georges Old Boys Association in Ontario, says the building needs repairs, now more than ever.
“The O’Hare building is special to the St Georges’s community because it is at the very entrance of the school compound. When you see the O’Hare building, you know it is. Today, it houses the 5th and 6th form classes and there’s a sense of accomplishment when one gets to hang out there. Over the years, termites have infected the floorboards, walls, and roof, and there is a need to repair it, especially since the hurricane season is upon us,” he told Caribbean National Weekly.
The project is being spearheaded by the school, with the Ontario Old Boys chapter leading the overseas fundraising efforts. The first phase of the project will begin with the renovation of the roof, at a cost of approximately $20,000 USD. Additionally, the plan calls for renovating windows and doors, the creation of additional conference rooms and upgrading of the resource room over a two-year period. The realization of this project is based on the availability of funds. Present estimates are at US$54K.
Patrick Williams, President of the Old Boys Chapter in the District of Columbia, says the building is not only special to the school, but also a historically significant landmark in Jamaica.
“Not only is the O’Hare building a cherished icon for us as Georgians, but it is also historically significant to Jamaica. It was in this building that the Jamaica Credit Union League was founded by a former teacher of the school, Father John P. Sullivan and was featured on a stamp in 1992 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the credit union movement in Jamaica,” he said.
The renovations are scheduled to be completed in 2023 when the O’Hare building marks 110 years.
The project also involves retrofitting the O’Hare Attic with the creation of an audiovisual smart lab. Persons can make donations by visiting https://stgcobane.org/ohare-building/