THE Ministry of Education (MoE), on Friday, signed six contracts totalling $253.8 million for the rebuilding of the St George’s High school, which was destroyed by fire last July.
The construction of the two storey, concrete building is expected to take approximately five to seven months, and, once completed, will have a capacity to accommodate approximately 300 – 400 students. The building will measure 209 feet by 70 feet.
The upper flat of the building will accommodate 12 classrooms, while the lower flat will be equipped with six laboratories (labs) including labs for Information Technology, Home Economics, and Industrial Technology. The lower flat will also house a canteen.
A number of fire prevention methods will also be put in place, including fire escape stairs, fire escape doors, fire alarms, extinguishers, limited timber usage, metal ceilings and fire-retardant panels.
The contracts for the construction works were signed between the Ministry of Education (MoE) and four contractors during a brief signing ceremony held in the ministry’s boardroom.
MoE’s Permanent Secretary, Alfred King, signed the contracts on behalf of the ministry.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand; MoE Special Projects Officer, Ron Eastman and Principal Education Officer, Immanuel Bridgewater, were present to witness the contracts being signed.
A contract for $113.944 million, which caters for Lot 1 – Construction of super structure, was awarded to BM Property Investment Inc. Lot 2 – Block works, which is for $59.99 million, was also awarded to BM Property.
Lot 3 – Plumbing works went to A Ograsein and Sons General Contractor for $9.652 million; Lot 3 – Plumbing works, went to A Ograsein and Sons General Contractor for $9.652 million; Lot 4 – Electrical Works, went to Cummings Electrical Company Ltd for $18.721 million, while Superior Supplies and General Construction was awarded the $22.472 million contract for Lot 5 – External works and Lot 6 – Finishing works, which will cost $29.053 million.
Origin Investments is the consultant for the project.
The contracts for the rebuilding of the school comes just a few days after the MoE would’ve signed seven contracts totalling $688.159 million for the rebuilding of the Christ Church Secondary School, which was destroyed by fire in January of this year.
Speaking to the contractors, Minister Manickchand, stressed the importance of the project, and imposed upon them to ensure that they deliver what they have committed to delivering.
“Understand what happens when we don’t have these schools; what happens is that children can’t get their education. Let’s understand the important role we play here in ensuring that children in this country can get an education. I hope that everybody understands their contractual obligations,” Manickchand implored.
“There is some massive programme to get secondary schools up and running. As exciting as it is, it’s equally worrying. We are depending so much on people signing contracts with us to honour their duties on those contracts. If you know you can’t do it, don’t sign the contracts. If you can’t get this done, we will be firm on implementing the provisions for liquidated damages in the contracts,” she added.
The minister explained that the construction was broken down into separate components and awarded to different contractors so that the building could be finished in the shortest possible time.
“The engineers came up with a design that will allow several contractors to work simultaneously with the view to get this done in a five-to-seven-month period. We divide it up so more people could get work and benefit in the country, but also that more people can work simultaneously and the end product comes back to us in the shortest period of time,” Manickchand said.