Tuesday 4 April 2017

We Have Seen the Future: Aregbesola is Bringing Back Ilegrams Sports Ground - By Oladimeji Lasore

The state-of-the-art high school that is springing up on what used to be the sports ground of Ilesa Grammar School will soon be completed and commissioned. The revolutionary ultra-modern school complex is a three-in-one school with the capacity to accommodate 3,000 students.

It is standard that the school has 72 classrooms of 49 square-meters, each capable of sitting 49 students. Each has six offices for study groups. It is also equipped with six laboratories, 48 toilets for pupils and another eight for teachers, one science library, one arts library, facility manager’s office, a bookshop and a sickbay.

Other facilities are the senior principal’s office, three principals’ offices, a bursar’s office, three general staff offices, a record store and security shed/reception, which shall be fully furnished, as well as borehole and power transformer.

The school complex also has 1,000 square-meters of floor space multi-purpose function hall capable of siting 1,000 students for external examinations. The hall has storage for equipment, utility storage, a stage, office space, documents storage, four female toilets and four male toilets.

It will be recalled that when Aregbesola decided on the choice of sports ground of Ilesa Grammar School as the suitable site for the new Mega School complex some aggrieved old students were vehemently against his choice for the location.

Not many know that prominent personalities like Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God; is a product of the school. Same goes for Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, the first Executive Governor of Lagos State. The present Vice Minister of Health, Prof. Adewole, a renowned Gynaecologist was also a student of Ilesa Grammar School. Oba Adeteju Adeyeye, Ado-Oko of Ido-Oko in Ijesaland, Hon. Justice Salihu Modibbo Alfa Belgore, a retired Chief Justice of Nigeria, Prof. Ephraim Ayoola, late Justice Kayode Esho, Alhaji Wahab Iyanda Folawiyo (late), Prof. Sola Adeyeye, Justice Oyeluyi Agbaje-Williams, Engr. Josiah Agbeja, Chief Bandele Aiku, Dr. Festus Ajayi, Justice Emmanuel Araka, Ambassador Akinola Ashimolowo, Engr. Emmanuel Awoyinfa, Mr. Tayo Ayeni, the Westown Hotel boss and Justice Ayoola to mention a few are all old boys of the school. Many of the old students of Ilesa Grammar School are based in Nigeria.

One would not, but marvel at the facilities available at Ilesha Grammar School. It has a conducive learning environment. The academic blocks are well constructed, science laboraties boast of good training equipment. Most of these facilities were donated by the alumni of the school.

The sports ground of Ilesa Grammar School was of great importance for Ilesa environ and Ijesaland in particular for the Ijesa sports stadium is out of use and the field served as a rallying point for organized football competions in Ilesa township and finals of Ijesa football competitions. So when the field was distroyed a lot of euphoria was raised.

I took time this weekend to visit the backyard of the now completed Ilesa Government High School that is being prepared for sporting activities.

I saw the Olympic-sized football field nearing finishing, it has a provision for seven lane sprinting tracks for 100 meters and 400 meters events. The outdoor basketball court that doubles as tennis court has been completed and the parking space for more than 75 cars has been cleared. I want to think that a delapidated building was destroyed to give way for this space.

I went round and saw that all other buildings of Ilesa Grammar School are unaffected. The old Empire building the foundation stone of which was laid on 5th April 1947 by His Excellency Sir Arthur Richards, then governor of Nigeria and renovated by Hon. Justice S. M. A. Belgore, retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 2009.

The first administrative office, the school hall, Revd. Lahanmi Memorial Library, classrooms blocks, laboratories and the first hostel master's block are all intact.

I am of the opinion that if all these others buildings are combined with the new mega his school, the amont of infrastructure will surpass that some other states polytechnic or college of education. Indeed, we have seen the future in Osun.

"Any society without this vision is going to be backward and dependent when this future arrives. We are celebrating today because we can see the future and we are confident we are on the right path.”- Aregbesola

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