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Repair setbacks: Delayed reopening projected for ESHS

Photograph of the Road Town-based Elmore Stoutt High campus captured months ago.

Ongoing repairs to sections of the hurricane-ravaged Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) Road Town campus have suffered a number of setbacks and will no longer be ready for September 2018, Education Minister Myron Walwyn has said.

It is now being projected to be completed within the first term of next academic year, which starts in September.

The Education Ministry is repairing the L-shaped building at ESHS’ Road Town campus so senior students can return to that location while junior students remain at the de facto Pasea Estate school campus.

“It was our hope that we would have gotten this building repaired for September 2018, but there is an inordinate amount of technical work that has to be done,” Minister Walwyn said.

“Despite the Ministry’s commitment to the ESHS rehabilitation, there are several challenges and time-consuming procedures that have posed a threat to the September 2018 [target],” he explained.

The education minister made the statement this week while delivering another of his updates on the overall progress of territorial education.

Electrical system destroyed

The 2017 hurricanes destroyed the school’s electrical system and the main feed has to be replaced.

Walwyn said panels, wiring, lights and fixtures also need replacing on all four floors of the L-shaped building before it becomes student-ready.

“We have taken a holistic approach to the rebuilding of the L-shaped building at ESHS and have formally sought the assistance of the Ministry of Finance in making a request for the repair work at ESHS to be added into the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Loan package,” he said.

Walwyn further said sourcing doors and windows have proved to be another stumbling block.

“Under the CDB loan guideline, procurement of material must be from a member country which does not include the United States of America and Puerto Rico – countries from which most goods in the Virgin Islands are imported from.”

CDB loan ‘vigorous’

Walwyn said the loan package with the CDB is a very vigorous and time-consuming process.

He said a number of processes have to be done such as selecting a consultant who is responsible for thorough inspection and assessment of the building and documentation for the proposed restoration project scope.

Construction documents such as a bill of quantities and cost estimates for all infrastructural works need to be prepared, and must also be in accordance with internationally recognized codes and standards.

Other requirements include a tendering process which could take at least six weeks to complete. There is also another process which involves selecting and negotiating contracts for the project.

However, Walwyn noted that significant progress in these endeavours has been made so far. He said ongoing work includes demolition, electrical and plumbing works, purchasing and installing windows and doors, replacing classroom partitions, painting, and general cleanup of the campus area.

Repair work a matter of urgency

Walwyn said making the school ready is urgent to him. He said once the L-shaped is repaired, students will return to a full day of school.

The minister then reiterated his government’s commitment to providing a comfortable environment conducive to learning for all students.

He also expressed his gratitude to members of the public for their patience as the education sector rebuilds in the aftermath of the 2017 catastrophic hurricanes.

“As the minister, I am very pleased with the progress that we have made and I want to assure you the public that we will continue to do our best,” he said.

“I have signalled the urgency of this matter to all who will listen and you have my commitment that I will be watching this project very closely,” he added.

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28 Comments

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  1. Dim Sum says:

    Politricks and perception management at it’s finet. Another hurricane season is here upon us and all these political Pirates can say or do is spout lies. I see the bigger picture is to dumbdown the current generation to have them as pawns in the BVI’s current power vacuum. Sad state of affairs! Business as usual in the VI.

  2. Seer says:

    I guess the time, money and energy put into the VG Easter Madness could have be used by the same Ministry for something more important. Assisting in speeding up the process of the school being finished on time. But no, lets party and free up while there’s still much more to be done.

  3. Mr. Green says:

    Same can be said regarding the $700,000.00 for the August MADNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Brad Boynes says:

    Didn’t he know all this before ma king unrealistic statement? Get real man.

  5. Albion says:

    In order for there to be a ‘setback’ there first has to be some kind of forward progress.

    With ESHS there has been none. It looks the same way today (8 months later) as it did shortly after Irma.

    Don’t even get me started on the negligent failure of Government to keep the buildings properly insured.

    Shameful neglect of our youth and our educational establishment. And no sign of that neglect coming to an end.

  6. Big Phil says:

    Why not procure materials from a company in the BVI? Maybe one of our hardware stores can be the middleman. Then procure it from them. Member country. Money spent in the BVI. Surely procuring from another Caribbean nation is just letting one of their companies be the middleman.

  7. Be fair says:

    CDB guidelines are rigorous indeed so there’s no surprise here. The moral of this is Government needs to save up funds for a rainy day and stop squandering just to please the populace. If we had money saved we could have at least started the process while we await loan funding for the overall project scope. Now we sit on our asses with hands folded and hurricane season barreling down on us. Good going.

  8. any bets? says:

    THIS WILL BE DONE DURING ELECTION TIME

  9. smh says:

    and these are the politicians you all are marching with… from last october from now Mr. Walywn could have started to get that school clean, little by little something could of been done..but as i say this is who yall marching with…politicians that does nothing for us!

  10. See says:

    Students forgotten . But we still party … sad

  11. Tyt says:

    Takee your time walwyn dont bother with them take your time do it right.. we will work with what we have at ctl is not that bad!!

  12. Good says:

    This is the result of a disjointed government. If they prioritized the recovery process instead of playing politics with it we would have been much further along. Instead of putting the country first we have elected persons pushing their own agendas and now here we have it. All we can do now is hope and pray that this hurricane season isn’t too bad.

  13. Want to know says:

    I notice that ALL the windows in that school blew in. Why were they not screwed in properly to begin with? How much did the Government pay for this shoddy work and what are the consequences of shoddy workmanship?

    • Hmmm says:

      They were screwed in, just badly damage. I graduated from high school almost 10yrs ago and when I was there, there was toilet paper in the ceiling, there for who knows how long and broken windows that couldn’t close. The fire alarms never worked and the fire escapes were always locked. Some of our desks were rocky from bad legs or barely even tables to begin with, they were so worn. Some of the classrooms were too small for class size and the tent we had assembly under had holes and couldn’t accommodate the entire school body. I could tell the school was falling into disrepair when I was there. I was pretty happy when they repainted it but sad to see that was as far as the repairs went. Fast forward almost 10 years later and much had not changed. The truth about the schools that few people are mentioning is that they were badly in need of repair even before Irma. Some of the damage was caused by students (parents need to place more emphasis on respecting others and properties others let you use but don’t belong to you, especially when they are shared by everyone) and, some were caused by the nature of time. Something I think that really hampers us is that we build but don’t maintain. I can tell that our schools haven’t really been updated much since they were built and all that came back to bite us with Irma.

    • . says:

      What windows are you talking about? Those weren’t windows, they were shutters with a little plastic on them.

    • Hehehe says:

      They weren’t much widows in the first place, it only had window frames with broken windows

  14. Mendomon says:

    And people want to cut ties with the U.K.!
    really!
    How you ever going to get your feet back under you all alone! Come on wake up people!

  15. Bad news says:

    This is really bad. Those kids can’t stay at CTL. And half day classes for two years? These grades are getting the worst education. Two whole grades that won’t be going to college!

  16. No name says:

    They need to find the $20 million that went to Anguilla.

  17. first and second says:

    First of all we all knew this and second:

    Why not put the juniors in the L shaped building instead …instead of leaving the young immature ones to cause havoc in a business district???

  18. Lily ann says:

    The schools xant get prepared on time, but a March was executed within a week with High Quakity pointed signs, TShirts, big parade, music, and multiple speeches ??? Riiiight….. oo I see what’s more important here !!!

  19. Vision says:

    Central road town is no longer a good place for the high school. Put all the student at HLSCC Marine Campus whilst building a new high school block on the huge grass expense by the entrance drive. Turn prospect into a Marine College with actual access to the sea and pools for sea and swim training.

    This leaves the highschool space in town to centralise all government departments into one admin quadrangle with lots of parking and eliminate rent. Final step is to turn Gov Admin Palace into Tourist Mall with fountains, shops and entertainment

  20. Visitor says:

    Throw himm out!

  21. Change says:

    Everyone needs to stop complaining and chip in. No seriously! Why not do it from your heart. It has to have dad’s who are electricians or plumbers who are willing to donate time on the weekends. What happened to the good ole days in situation like these. The women cook up the pots and the men put in some work oh and don’t forget the side of beer. But the work use to get done.
    Trust me I’m not a fan of any government, but a good friend taught me that we have to do things from our heart. We work for God. We should only care about being recognized by God. I know people have bills to pay, but God will bless you if you chip in from the heart. I’m sure that there is more than enough skilled dads or concerned citizens who would want to help out even if it’s just to get a jump start. Come on you guys can do this!

    The school actually looks worse than the previous pics seen.

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