|Minister of Education, Ronald Jones (right), following the handing over of a rendering of the work done thus far for the Lodge School redevelopment project, which was presented by Site Manager, Anderson Yarde (second from left), as Deputy Headgirl, Kyla Weatherhead, looks on. (A. Gaskin/BGIS)??|
Phase one of The Lodge School redevelopment project – which will see the refurbishment and rebuilding of structures on the school site – has been completed.
The finished works at the Society, St. John location were toured by Ministry of Education officials, including Minister Ronald Jones, yesterday evening.
Mr. Jones expressed satisfaction that students were already able to use the 24 new classrooms and the project was moving swiftly along to phase two. He commended the work of the contractors, Innotech Services Limited, and the Ministry’s project unit, who were lending assistance to make the effort a success.??
While the first phase took approximately a year to complete, the Minister said that he looked forward to phase two being completed "…within the designated time, I’m told seven months… that phase two should be completed. It would mean that phase one, to me, was done in extremely good time," he noted, adding that he was pleased that the 23 million dollar project had not seen any delays or cost overruns.
Mr. Jones observed that the infrastructural changes to the school were necessary, not only because the institution was 260 years old, but also to assist the school in continuing to facilitate students, especially those at post-secondary level.
"This school has just over 1000 students…1096… and that is because the Lodge School has been quite accommodating to our request, particularly at 6th form level, to take in many students because of capacity issues for secondary education…It is good that the school is interested in the development of students and has done whatever is necessary to accommodate the requests of many of our parents and students to be accommodated here…" he noted.
Looking to the next stage of the project, the Minister revealed that an auditorium would be part of either the second or third phase.?? This element of the project, he said, "…would lead to not only the burgeoning of the talents at the Lodge School…[but] would help in the development of the creative arts [in the]?? community". He also pointed out that regions such as Gall Hill, Messiah Street and Rose Gate stood to benefit from the availability of such a facility.
Innotech Construction Director, Andrew Adam, revealed that the project, which will be completed over a period of 30 months, would see "the part demolition, part renovation, part new construction of 14 buildings on the existing site. At the end of the day it’s going to give back the school over 100 000 square feet of school space."
Mr. Adams observed that "due to the complexity of the project and specifically the need for the school to function while the construction work is going, [it was important] not to disturb the activities of the school; [so] the project was put into four phases."???????????????????? With the first phase handed over to the Ministry, the building now boasts both new and refurbished classrooms, computer labs and staff areas.
??"This first phase involved the demolition of two existing buildings and the construction of four new buildings.?? The four buildings are mainly classroom blocks… Also as part of phase one, we have upgraded the existing electrical power supply to the site," he said, adding that other temporary areas had been constructed to ensure classes continued uninterrupted during phase two and beyond.
This second phase, he underlined, would see the refurbishment and extension of buildings on the site which cater to the staff, with completion expected towards the end of this year.
Mr. Adams revealed that the third phase was expected to last eight months, with a fourth "tidy up" phase to round off the project.