Refurbishment Project Begins at St. David Catholic Secondary School

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 4:12 PM - George's, Grenada
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ST. GEORGE, GRENADA, JULY 21, 2015 -GIS: The Government of Grenada, in collaboration with the Catholic Church Board and school administration, officially marked the commencement of the St. David’s Catholic Secondary School (SDCSS) refurbishment project, with a ceremony on Monday, July 20.

The project is being executed at a total cost of $346, 000 EC, with a scheduled completion date of August 31, 2015. Shelter Solutions, a Grenadian contractor, has been selected from a total of four bids, to execute the refurbishment.

Minister for Human Resource Development and Acting Minister for Education, in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Sen. The Hon. Simon Stiell, said, “With the financial support of Government, the church is contracting the services of the contractor, to have these works carried out.”

The Parliamentary Representative, Minister, the Hon. Oliver Joseph, said, “Holding consultations, with all stakeholders, was the best way forward. So, we met with the PTA, the staff, both schools (SDCSS and St. Joseph’s R.C.), the churches and, I must say, that Father Harris and the Church Board worked very closely with the Government to reach a situation where we have an outcome that is optimal, meaning both sides are satisfied.

The students at the St. Joseph’s and the staff are extremely pleased that they are not moving and the St. David’s Secondary School will be coming back here with the refurbished building.” Prior to the solution being reached, it was discussed that the SDCSS students would use the St. Joseph’s R.C. School building temporarily.

Father Clifton Harris, of the Catholic Church Board, expressed his gratitude for the speedy resolution to the school’s structural issues and thanked the teachers and parents for their patience, throughout the process. He said, “I am happy that I was able to make a contribution, on behalf of the diocese, for all that was happening here.”

Mr. Carlyle Glean, Engineer at Glean’s Construction & Engineering Co. Ltd., said that in the initial evaluation of the situation with the school’s structure, he recommended refurbishment, as the cost of refurbishing the school is much less than creating a temporary facility. The Ministry therefore accepted his recommendations, as the better option.

“What we are doing here is creating a comfortable holding situation.

We’re holding, while we wait for funds,” Glean said, referring to funds for the construction of the new structure.

Glean went on to detail the refurbishment process.

He said, “The works will include replacement of the roof covering, which has begun; the replacement and repairs of all damaged windows – missing windows replacement - and, the most important and technical aspect of the works, is repairs to the concrete works – the concrete that has started deteriorating.”

He said all the cracked or loose elements, members or factions of all these works, whether it’s columns, slabs, walls or beams, will be removed, steel brushed, adhesive will be applied and they will be re-constructed. After the reconstruction, they will be sealed, which Glean said is the most critical part of the process, as sealing prevents new moisture from entering.

He noted that one of the main reasons for the deterioration of the school’s structure had to do with moisture entering the structure uncontrollably, from the Windward side of the building, thus causing the school structure to go into an accelerated rate of deterioration from 2004, when part of the roof was destroyed, during Hurricane Ivan. That area was never rebuilt.

Glean also explained that the corridors will be sealed with water proofing membranes, while the lower corridor (mid-floor), which is a high-traffic area, will be re-screened or plastered, in addition to being water proofed. He added that the contractor has offered warranties ranging from 10 to 20 years, on the sealing of the members.

The scope of works also includes some plumbing and electrical work, as well as painting, which will be limited to places where scaffolding would be required and to the higher ends of the building. The paint on the walls, which are constantly being beaten by rain, will be removed and the walls will be treated with water proofing sealant. A voluntary crew has reportedly offered their services to do any additional painting at the school.

Hon. Stiell said, “Works will be completed in time for the re-opening of school, in the new school term. The whole intention of everything that we are doing - whether it is as Government, the church, the school, the contractor, the consulting engineer – we’re all here to ensure that there is the minimum of disruption, or absolutely no disruption to the education of our boys and girls.”

The Parliamentary Representative is pleased with the pace at which the works are currently progressing and stated that he is also confident that all work will be completed on schedule. He praised the commitment and understanding of the principal and staff, for working in tough conditions, prior to the current repair of the school.

With regard to the much-discussed new school structure, which is part of the Ministry’s future plan, Glean said that the estimated cost is in the region of $20 million EC.

The Parliamentary Representative, Hon. Joseph, added that the new school structure, which will be constructed on lands gifted by the Government of Grenada to the Catholic Church, will be located at La Sagesse, St. David.

He also said the process will involve consultation with the various stakeholders and that Glean will soon present a building plan, for consideration. The Parliamentary representative also assured stakeholders that the new school will retain its current name, contrary to concerns raised in this regard.

Principal of the St. David’s Catholic Secondary School, Ms. Mariam Calliste, expressed her relief and gratitude, at the commencement of the project.

She said, “We are happy that our cries were heard, people would have listened and there is collaboration now between the church and the Ministry – Government – the donors, those who have donated to this refurbishment plan and I want to say thank you on behalf of all stakeholders, of the St. David’s Catholic Secondary School.”

Calliste is looking forward to having a more conducive learning environment for the new school term.





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