Amidst the questionable demolition, the Board of Governors, St. Rose’s High School yesterday announced that Bynoe, Rowe and Wiltshire, of Trinidad will construct the building.
It was reported that the school’s Board of Governors will contract independent engineers to ensure the agreed final design, which would take into full account the aesthetics in keeping with the expectations of the stakeholders, the history of the existing structure and adherence to current local and international environmental and building codes and standards.
According to information received, the new structure will integrate several aspects of the original design. It will also incorporate the design of the Marion and other wings on the school, which include the retention of the green space courtyard area, a unique feature of the school.
In a release issued by the school’s Board of Governors, it was related that the reconstruction is expected to commence ‘immediately’ after the demolition.
The contracting firm is anticipating a two year completion period.
In the statement, the board also noted that the decision to demolish the structure was taken only after much thought was given to the issue. It further explained that the goal is to “provide a safe, up to date and innovative building for the development of our students” and it was only after they explored every option the decision was made to demolish the structure.
The release states, “During our deliberations over the last several years, the Board of Governors consulted all relevant stakeholders: The Nuns of the Convent, P.T.A, Alumni Associations, Students, Teachers, H.M, D.H.M, The National Trust, The Ministry of Education, The Ministry of Social Cohesion, The Ministry of Finance and all others with direct or indirect impact on this decision.
“When presented with the evidence, all agreed that we must take the tough decision to look towards the future and incorporate the very best of modern design and “green” architectural approaches for a building that will stand as an example for future educational design in Guyana”.
Chairman of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), Berkley Wickham, said he is unable to give any information until after New Year’s.
This publication understands that bids were read on Wednesday, however it has not yet been verified if this specific project received bids during the last Tender Board.
On December 19, the reconstruction of the school was on the agenda, but the bids for the project were not read, since the Ministry of Education did not submit an engineer’s estimate for the project.
It was related previously by an officer of NPTAB that a project usually takes two weeks before it is awarded to a company that tendered.
The company that is conducting the demolition of the school has not yet been made known to this newspaper.
The demolition of the school was questionable to some, since some contractors had bid as low as $11 and $16 million.
One contractor who did not bid for the project had even offered to demolish the building at half of the engineer’s $30million estimate.
Students and the staff of the St. Rose’s rejoiced when they learnt that creaking floors, broken windows, leaking ceilings and crooked stairways are to be a thing of the past for the School.
It has, for quite some time, been in a state not conducive for learning.
The section of the school that is adjacent to Church Street was slated for demolition.
The nine classrooms that will be affected by the demolition will be provided for in the other buildings of the school.
Most of the classes had already evacuated the section of the building, during the Christmas term. Students were also forced to enter and exit the school through the St. Joseph’s Ursuline Convent gate, which is located on Camp Street, Georgetown.
It was explained that most of the classrooms are already crammed and so whatever space is available, will be made use of.
A visit to the building set for demolition, displayed a rather frightening image, since the floors of the building were creaking and cracking. Some of the windows were falling out and the stairways were deploring.
Sections of the ceiling were leaking and walls of the building were rotten. To ensure the safety of the students, the specific section is prohibited.
Built almost entirely of wood, the school happens to be some one hundred years old. The structure has become incapable of providing a safe environment for over 700 students that now utilize the facility.
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