Months after the devastating fire that destroyed much of the Christ Church Secondary School building in Georgetown, the Education Ministry on Wednesday signed seven contracts amounting to over $668 million to rebuild the school.
Upon the advice of several engineers, the Ministry is taking a multi-component approach, by which the project has been divided into seven lots, and construction is expected to be fully completed in seven months.
Rendered images of the new Christ Church Secondary School
“When you have several contractors — for example, as someone is doing windows, simultaneously somebody else is doing doors or electrical [infrastructure]. So, they all combine to shorten the time without compromising strength or safety,” said Education Minister Priya Manickchand. As such, seven contracts were awarded following a competitive bidding process that was advertised since March.
BM Property Investment Inc. was awarded the $303,595,000 contract for construction of substructure, as well as the $17,600,000 contract for the installation of plumbing infrastructure and fixtures.
Zeco Group of Services Inc. was given the $295,137,706 contract to complete the superstructure. N. Balgobin & Sons Contracting Service and Electrical Supplies was awarded the $41,938,500 contract to complete the installation of electrical infrastructure and fixtures; and Pantheon Construction Inc. was given the $12,385,800 contract for masonry and finishing work.
File photo: The scene of the fire in January 2023
Meanwhile, A. Ograsein and Sons General Contracting were given both the $10,745,000 contract for the installation of air conditioning infrastructure and units as well as the $6,759,000 contract for the installation of fire prevention units.
In ensuring better fire prevention practices, Special Projects Officer in the Ministry, Ron Eastman, clarified that the building would include features such as fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and some materials that are not highly flammable.
Innovative Engineering Consultancy Services has also been selected as a consultant on the project, following a similar competitive bidding process.
The Education Minister has encouraged the contractors and the consultant to be aware of the penalties that can be activated if there is a failure to deliver on their contractual obligations, as work is to commence within two weeks.
This new three-storey building, to measure 209 feet x 70 feet, is intended to accommodate up to 500 students. It is expected to feature 20 classrooms, science laboratories, TVET laboratory, electrical and woodworking laboratory, Information Technology (IT) laboratory, Home Economics laboratory, Art and Music rooms, teachers’ accommodation, and a sanitary block.
On January 12, the Christ Church Secondary School was gutted by a fire which was determined to be arson, although to date no one has been charged over the offence. The displaced students are currently continuing their education as normal at the Cyril Potter College of Education at Turkeyen, ECD.
Minister Manickchand has also noted that, before September, the construction works at Queen’s College, the Bishops’ High School, St. Rose’s High School, Good Hope Secondary School, Yarrowkabra Secondary School, Abrams Zuil Secondary School, East
Ruimveldt Secondary and St. Winefride’s Secondary will be completed. Work at North Ruimveldt Secondary School should be completed by October.