JIS News

A total of $156.5 million is to be spent to effect crucial construction work on the Gordon Town All Age School in St Andrew, and Bromley All Age in St. Mary, under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture’s Primary Education Support Project (PESP).
Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson signed the official contract documents with the project contractors, at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle offices today (Dec. 14) for work to begin on the schools. Mrs. Henry-Wilson informed that the two schools were being given early and special attention.
“These two schools are quite fortunate to be at the top of the pile as there are some 287 schools slated for repairs and reconstruction, however due to the urgency of their conditions work has to begin on them immediately,” she explained.
The Minister added that although 92 contractors had already been awarded contracts to carry out work on the various schools, finding adequate contractors to speed up the programme was proving to be a major problem. “If we can get contractors who are reliable, then we can speed up the programme,” she explained.
work on the two schools falls under the Civil Works component of the PESP. Under this component, funds are provided for the construction, furnishing and equipping of 12 primary and All Age schools. Five of these schools will be replacements or partial replacement of existing schools and two schools will also be constructed.
Partial replacement work will be carried out on the Gordon Town All Age School while Bromley All Age will be replaced by new structures. The two schools form part of the 12 schools to be repaired and reconstructed.
Gordon Town All Age, which caters to 525 students, will be partially replaced at a cost of $107.9 million by HDB Construction Limited. Two classroom blocks will be constructed, inclusive of one two-storey and a three-storey to house 15 new classrooms.
In addition some existing buildings will be demolished to accommodate new ones, which will consist of a library, a 15-seat toilet facility, an administrative block, as well as a kitchen. Work on the school is expected to last for nine months.
Meanwhile, Bromley All Age School will be completely replaced at a cost of $48.6 million by WA Reid Construction Limited. The project will include the construction of a two-storey building on an adjacent site to the old school. The building will include a library, six new classrooms, an administrative block, a kitchen, upgraded playing field as well as a multipurpose hard court and parking facilities. The project is scheduled to last for 10 months.
Minister Henry-Wilson also urged the school officials to explain to community members the significance of the investment in repairing and carrying out reconstruction work on the schools.
“Sometimes we hear that nothing is happening within the communities but we ask that as part of the construction work that the communities be made to understand the importance of the investments in these schools,” she urged.
Funding for PESP projects is provided by the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank.