Seven contracts, totalling $688.1 million, were signed on Wednesday for the reconstruction of the Christ Church Secondary School.
The school, which was destroyed by fire on January 12, 2023, will be built at the same location and is expected to be finished in seven months, as per the contract.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand stated that the reconstruction will not be undertaken by one contractor. She said that the project was divided into seven lots, and companies were invited to bid for each lot.
The invitation for bids was published in March 2023. She said that there is a consultant on the project who was also selected following a competitive bidding process. That consultancy firm is Innovative Engineering Consultancy Services.
Minister Manickchand said that after the destruction of the school by arson, the children had been accommodated at the Cyril Potter College of Education.
She added that she is grateful to the teachers who rose to the challenge led by their headteacher and deputy headteacher, who were able to produce and perform as though they were under familiar circumstances.
The Education Minister explained to the contractors and the consultant that this project is very important to the Ministry. She reminded them to be aware of the penalties that can be activated if there is a failure to deliver on their contractual obligations.
Further, she said that before September 2023, 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.
She said that the North Ruimveldt Secondary School should be completed by October 2023. The Education Minister explained that these works would allow significantly more children to be accommodated in those schools.
Meanwhile, the Special Projects Officer in the Ministry, Ron Eastman, said that the new Christ Church Secondary School building will feature fire prevention and retardant mechanisms and components.
Some of these include but are not limited to fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and some materials that will be used that are not highly flammable.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Alfred King added that among the seven lots which the project has been divided into, there is a dedicated lot that deals with the installation of fire prevention units as recommended by the Guyana Fire Service.
The new building will measure 209 feet x 70 feet and will have 20 classrooms to accommodate 450 to 520 students. The school will also feature all the science laboratories, TVET laboratory, electrical and Woodworking laboratory, Information Technology laboratory, Home Economics laboratory, and Art and Music rooms.
The seven lots and companies awarded are as follows:
Lot -1 Construction of Sub-Structure – BM Property Investment Inc. ($303,595,000.00)
Lot -2 Super-Structure – Zeco Group of Services Inc. ($295,137,706.00)
Lot -3 Installation of Electrical Infrastructure & Fixtures – N. Balgobin & Sons Contracting Service & Electrical Supplies ($41,938,500.00)
Lot -4 Installation of Plumbing Infrastructure and Fixtures – BM Property Investment Inc. ($17,600,000.00)
Lot -5 Installation of Air Conditioning Infrastructure and Units – A. Ograsein & Sons General Contracting ($10,745,000.00)
Lot -6 Installation of Fire Prevention Units – A. Ograsein & Sons General Contracting ($6,759,000.00)
Lot -7 Masonry and Finishing Work – Pantheon Construction Inc. ($12,385,800.00)