Repairs to 22 primary schools this summer will cost the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development some $1 million.

This was revealed today by the Acting Project Manager of the Ministry’s Education Project Implementation Unit (EPIU), Richard Harrison, who noted that the repairs which started at the end of June, were scheduled to end by August 20, one week before staff return to prepare for the official re-opening of the schools on Monday, September 6.

"This is to give principals and teachers a full week of availability to the completed sites before the children return to their classrooms, and to ensure that everything is shipshape," Mr. Harrison explained.

He pointed out that work on some schools would be general in nature, while on others it would be quite specific, including upgrading certain ceilings, nutrition rooms, floors, the provision of covered walk-ways and the relocation of pre-fabricated buildings at six schools, to allow for additional space.

The 22 schools currently under repair are: Chalky Mount, Charles F. Broome, Deacon’s, Eden Lodge Nursery, Erdiston Special Unit, Good Shepherd, Grantley Prescod, Hilda Skeene, Hillaby Turner’s Hall, Holy Innocent’s, Roland Edwards, Selah, Sharon, St. Bartholomew’s, All Saints, St. James, St. Giles, St. Luke’s?? St. Margaret’s, St. Mary’s, St. Stephen’s Nursery and St. Stephen’s Primary.

While providing an idea of some of the work to be carried out, he said some floors would be replaced at Charles F. Broome; roofs erected over stairways at Deacons Primary and over walkways at St. Giles and Erdiston Special Unit.?? Windows and beams would be upgraded at St. Luke’s Primary.

??He added: "Prefabricated buildings will be erected at St. James, Hillaby, Roland Edwards, All Saints, Good Shepherd and Selah Primary Schools. These are not new buildings, but are being relocated.?? They will also require some repairs in the process of being installed at the schools."

??Responding to queries as to whether the renovations of these schools would affect their status as hurricane shelters, Mr. Harrison stressed that "in fact, as can be seen from the types of items being addressed, the work being carried out will not affect those parts of the schools which will actually be used to house persons in the event of a hurricane."????

Meanwhile, he pointed out that secondary schools were not part of the annual domestic repairs programme of the Ministry of Education, since such standard maintenance was normally addressed under the direction of their Boards of Management.??

Generally, he clarified, the EPIU responded to routine physical issues arising at secondary schools.?? However, in executing particular Ministry programmes, such as the Education Sector Enhancement Programme, the EPIU would be is directly involved in all stages of the work at Secondary schools as well.?? In this regard, the EPIU is currently involved in work (mainly IT infrastructure related) being carried out at St. George Secondary and Harrison College, as well as comprehensive refurbishment to be undertaken at The Lodge School.??

"These projects were all initiated through the ESEP under which we have been executing the physical works component on behalf of the Ministry" he explained.

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