UDC to Rehabilitate Damaged Schools


The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) has assumed responsibility for the rehabilitation of 59 secondary and tertiary institutions in seven parishes.Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman made the disclosure at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House yesterday (October 11).
He told journalists that the UDC’s assessment had confirmed the preliminary investigation carried out by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, that damage to the institutions were primarily to roofs, the exposed structure and interior of the buildings, as a result of continuous rainfall caused by Hurricane Ivan more than four weeks ago.
The Minister informed that the multi-disciplinary teams organized by the UDC to undertake the assessment, had been assembled and were now at work in the field to provide estimates and to prepare the contracts.
Minister Whiteman said the teams would present data by Friday, October 15 regarding detailed estimates for the repairs to each school and detailed assessment of roof sheeting requirements to ascertain the amounts needed.
Where the works are relatively minor, a draft standard form of contract is to be prepared for negotiation with prospective contractors. The Minister said in cases where an institution had suffered major damage, the UDC would identify those works that could be readily contracted out. He said in this case, the UDC would again carry out the required assessment, develop costings, and establish Bills of Quantities with the UDC standards form of contract, as well as negotiate the contracts and prepare certificates.
This, he said, was an attempt to speed up the recovery process, as time lost in the education sector was difficult to recover, bearing in mind the varied examination timetables.
Senator Whiteman said that by negotiating the contracts, the UDC would be able to adhere to the Prime Minister’s directive regarding emergency works valued at $4 million or less, and take into account, works that were already in progress at some institutions.
He said that information received from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has revealed that only five schools were still being used as shelters, with a significantly reduced shelter population.

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