A new contract, valued at US$2.6 million was on Friday inked between the Ministry of Education and Deen+ Partners for the completion of works on the Good Hope Secondary School, East Coast Demerara by June 30, 2023.
The engineering, procurement and construction/turnkey contract was signed at the Ministry of Education, Brickdam, Georgetown. The project falls under the Secondary Education Improvement Project and is being funded by the World Bank.
“Good Hope Secondary is the school that we intended on the East Coast of Demrara to help us achieve universal secondary education – by that we mean children who have no place right now can get into a school and we could close all the primary tops on the East Coast of Demrara,” Education Minister Priya Manckchand said at the contract signing.
This school will facilitate some 1,000 secondary school students living on the East Coast of Demerara. Bringing relief to the Bladen Hall Secondary, Cummings Lodge Secondary, Golden Grove Secondary as well as the Paradise Primary, Enterprise Primary and Enmore Primary schools.
Initially, the contract was awarded to VIKAB Engineering in 2018 at a value of US$4,082,506 with an expected completion on January 14, 2020. But four extensions were given since March 10, 2020 and the contract was terminated on May 25, 2021. Since then, the Ministry has been searching for a contractor that fits all criteria necessary by the standards of the World Bank to complete the works.
“After several different models were explored and a lot of public processes were explored, the best model that was arrived at was for us to get one supervising contractor and then for him to hire out and supervise other contractors to do the different types of work. It may be plumbing – he hires separate plumbing – might be electrical – he hires different electrical engineer and so on,” Minister Manickchand explained.
In the new contract, Deen + Partners is expected to complete the installation of electrical panels, cables, plumbing fittings and fixtures, general finishes to windows, doors, roof, walls and ceilings, completion of all built in furniture, repainting of the facility and remedial works to all floors.
Further, the Minister warned the contractor that the school must be completed. “I hope Mr Deen is hearing me because if we sign that this is going to finish in June, it will finish in June.
“We can’t do this to the children of the East coast any longer. It is a sin. What happened here is really a sinful,” she said while mentioning the timeline of the overdue project.
The facility, upon completion, will have a multipurpose hall, a canteen, fully equipped Home Economics and TVET buildings to cater for skilled based learning. It will also have science laboratories for the execution of work in biology, chemistry and physics. Additional features will include an allied arts department, three information technology laboratories, a library and an audio-visual room.