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School repairs could cost $100m

ALEX DOWNES, [email protected]

School repairs could cost $100m

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Secondary schools across the island should benefit from a repair plan that could cost an estimated $100 million.

Minister of Education Ronald Jones revealed that his ministry, through its Education Technical Management Unit, was undertaking a preliminary infrastructure assessment of the 21 public secondary schools.

“We have carried out a major audit across all of the now 21 secondary schools. And that audit is about to be concluded, everything has been costed,” Jones said during the Graydon Sealy Secondary School’s speech day yesterday.

“I can tell you that I was shocked when the people in our Education Technical Management Unit said to me ‘Minister, the cost for these 21 schools is now $100 million.’

“So we’re going to have over the next five years to attack these schools two by two or three by three to bring them up to scratch,” he added.

Jones was speaking following opening remarks from school board member Senator Reverend Dr David Durant who made the request to the minister to have a replacement for the now 42-year-old school hall.

A rapturous applause from all those present met Durant’s request, as he added he hoped to have this become a reality come next year’s speech day.

A quick glimpse at the school hall’s roof showed serious ceiling signs of wear and tear.

Durant’s calls did not fall on deaf ears as Jones said that much like the plans for other secondary schools, the Graydon Sealy Secondary School’s issues would be addressed.

During this year the Ministry of Education undertook a $1.52 million school summer repair programme to address structural issues at 18 primary schools.

These repairs were carried out through a Caribbean Development Bank loan as a part of the ministry’s Education Sector Enhancement Project II.

Those repairs were started in July of this year and while expected to be fully completed by August 21 for the start of school, were delayed due to setbacks caused by Tropical Storm Harvey. (AD)

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