Jun 10, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – St. George’s High School will be rebuilt by the Government of Guyana at an estimated cost of $253.8M. The school was completely destroyed by fire in July 2022.
On Friday, the Ministry of Education signed six contracts for the rebuilding of the school which is expected to be completed in five to seven months. The contract signing took place at the Ministry’s Brickdam location.
As is the case with the reconstruction of Christ Church Secondary, the St. George’s High School will be reconstructed in six lots. According to the Ministry’s invitation for bids: Lot1 consist of works on the superstructure of the building, Lot2 includes the block works, Lots 3 is the plumbing works, Lot4 is the electrical works, Lot5 is for the external works, while Lot 6 consist of the finishing works.
The companies awarded to these lots are as follows: Lot -1 Construction of Super Structure – BM Property Investment Inc. – $113,943,900; Lot -2 Block Works – BM Property Investment Inc. – $59,989,500; Lot -3 Plumbing Works – A. Ograsein & Sons General Contracting – $9,651,970; Lot -4 Electrical Works – Cummings Electrical Company Ltd. – $18,720,592; Lot -5 External Works – Superior Supplies & General Construction – $22,472,560; and Lot -6 Finishing Works – Superior Supplies & General Construction – $29,052,600.
This project would be supervised by Origin Investment consultancy firm.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Alfred King at the signing ceremony said that the school will be a two-story building oriented with a panoramic view of the lower flat and will be measuring some 109ft x 70ft. The upper flat will feature 12 classrooms, while the lower flat will house six laboratories including the Information Technology, Home Economics and Industrial Technology laboratories. The building when completed is said to accommodate some 300 to 400 students.
The school will also feature several fire prevention mechanisms and these components of the school include fire escape stairs, escape doors, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, limited timber usage, metal ceilings and fire-retardant panels.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand who witnessed the signing of the contracts noted the importance of having the school built and said that the Ministry is keen on having every child across the country have access to secondary education and not just seats in a classroom but a high-quality secondary education.
The Education Minister briefed that the Georgetown Education District had serious space constraints before the fires that destroyed the St. George’s High School Fire, the North Ruimveldt Secondary School and Christ Church Secondary. She said that with the destruction of those schools, the situation became even worse.
“We were really in a bad place in Georgetown for seats for students so we really didn’t had enough literally space, desk and bench in classrooms to fit the children who come to Georgetown with the St. George’s fire and the Christ Church and the North Ruimveldt fires,” she stated.
The Minister said that under the five years of the APNU+AFC Administration, no secondary school was started and completed. As such, she said that a lot of the space issues are now being addressed.
The Minister reminded that contracts were signed to reconstruct the Christ Church Secondary School and that soon contracts will be signed to rebuild the St. Mary’s High School.
“So, it’s a massive programme to get secondary schools up and running and as it is exciting it is equally worrying because we are depending on so much; on people who are signing contracts with us, honouring their duties and responsibilities under those contracts. So, the Government is clear. Our intention is clear. We want children in schools. We want to build schools,” the Minister related.
She told contractors that if they cannot get the work done, the ministry will be firm on implementing the provision of the contracts for liquidated damages.
The Minister also mentioned that with the signing of these school contracts, soon the reconstruction of the North Ruimveldt Secondary School, the St. Rose’s High School, extensions at Queen’s College, the Bishops’ High School, the East Ruimveldt Secondary School and the St. Winifred’s Secondary School, will be completed to further address the space issues in the Georgetown District.
Additionally, Minister Manickchand noted that the completion of the Good Hope Secondary School will address space issues along the East Coast while the completion of the Yarrowkabra Secondary School will address the said issue for the Upper East Bank Demerara area.
Kaieteur News reported in July 2022 that the fire which destroyed the St. George’s Secondary school was electrical in origin. That fire displaced some 421 students who are now being accommodated at other secondary schools.
This publication understands that the school will be rebuilt at its same location in Georgetown.
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