Government thanked for RM2.5 mln restoration fund

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: The move by the state government to allocate RM2.5 million to the St Joseph’s school’s Mill Hill Block restoration project was lauded by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“I would like to thank the state government, led by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, for the grant amounting to RM2.5 million to the school management board.

“The fund, which was applied by the school, will be able to help with the restoration project of the block,” Abdul Karim, who is also an ex-Josephian said in a Facebook post today.

He said the fund will also be used to launch the school management system as well as to elevate the quality and standards, and help with the school’s achievements.

Earlier, Old Josephian’s Association (OJA) president Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, who is also the Local Government and Housing Minister, said the RM2.5 million given by the state government covers the shortfall of RM5.5 million in the restoration project.

He said that with the RM1.5 million in a grant that was given previously, the state government has, in total, contributed RM4 million to the project.

The project will see nine classrooms restored, the school office and staff rooms for staff and teachers upgraded as well as an addition of a new exhibition hall and lecture room to hold events as part of the school’s learning experience.

The Mill Hill Block is an iconic structure of not only St Joseph’s School but also Sarawak as it was gazetted as a heritage building in 2010 by the state government under the Sarawak Cultural Heritage Ordinance 1993.

The three-storey high Mill Hill Block comprises a main building in the centre with two wings. The main building was declared open in 1894 by Rajah Charles Brooke, the second White Rajah of Sarawak. In 1927, the two wings were added.