New $688M Christ Church Secondary School to be completed within 7 months
Months after the Christ Church Secondary school was destroyed by fire, the Ministry of Education on Wednesday inked a $688M contract with several contractors to rebuild the facility within the next seven months.
The contract for the project consultancy was awarded to Innovative Engineering Consultancy Services. Construction will be done in keeping with fire prevention measures, as recommended in the Guyana Fire Service report.
The building, which measures 209 feet by 70 feet, is designed within the footprint of the burnt building to accommodate some 450 to 500 students. It will be rebuilt at the same location as the last school – Middle and Camp Streets, Georgetown.
The new building will consist of 20 new and remodeled classrooms, nine laboratories, and teachers’ quarters.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand said the project is being executed following a series of reviews and expert advice from engineers.
“The expertise that we received from the engineers…suggested that we could get this school at a shorter time if we had instead of one contractor doing everything, if we divide it up into components and lots,” Manickchand said.
And to ensure that the students are placed back into their classrooms at the earliest opportunity, a decision was taken to have the project executed in seven lots by different contractors.
- Lot 1-Construction of Sub-Structure – BM Property Investment Inc. $303,595,000
- Lot 2- Super-Structure- Zeco Group of Services Inc- $295,137,706
- Lot 3- Installation of Electrical Infrastructure & Fixtures – N. Balgobin & Sons Contracting Service & Electrical Supplies- $41,938,500
- Lot 4- Installation of Plumbing Infrastructure and Fixtures – BM Property Investment Inc.-$17,600,000
- Lot 5- Installation of Air Conditioning Infrastructure and Units – A. Ograsein & Sons General Contracting- $10,745,000
- Lot 6-Installation of Fire Prevention Units – A. Ograsein & Sons General Contracting- $6,759,000 and
- Lot 7- Masonry and Finishing Work – Pantheon Construction Inc.-$12,385,800
Highlighting the importance of the project, Manickchand warned the contractors that there are penalties if they fail to get the project done in keeping with the seven-month deadline.
“…Make sure you are comfortable with the penalties and that you can meet your obligations under this contract before you sign it because I would be glad to take you where some of these children live and then take you the distance they have to travel just for an education every day…for you to understand why it is important for us to get it done right,” Manickchand told the contractors.
“And the way it is done if one contractor X doesn’t finish what he has to do it will be hard for contractor Y to do what they have to do,” she added.
And to ensure there is no reoccurrence of a fire, Project Coordinator and Head of the Ministry’s Buildings Unit, Ron Eastman said the ministry has ensured that the new design meets the standards of all fire prevention mechanisms.
“There [are] several components that we include that not only is alertness but is very much preventative…we won’t want to experience such a matter again,” Eastman said.
“…Some of it include fire extinguishers, we have some smoke detectors and some of the materials used as well will also not be that highly flammable,” he noted.
Over 500 students were displaced in January of this year after a fire destroyed the Christ Church Secondary School at Middle and Camp Streets in Georgetown.
A Guyana Fire Service investigation revealed that the fire was maliciously set.