BVI News

Quick fixes a waste of money: Demolish, rebuild ESHS, fire station — Scatliffe

Karl Scatliffe

Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) political candidate Karl Scatliffe believes it is a waste of taxpayers money to conduct remedial works on structures weakened by the 2017 hurricanes.

In a recent interview with BVI News, Scatliffe used the Fire and Rescue Services headquarters in Road Town and the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) campus as prime examples. Scatliffe, who claims he has worked in construction before, said the two structures should be demolished and rebuilt.

“If you walk around the fire station, the walls are actually crumbling. So, what are you going to do? A quick fix?” Scatliffe questioned. “That whole building is structurally unfit for a fire station and I think if we are in the 21st century, we need a state-of-the-art fire station. We need to be thinking outside of the box and be innovative. That building needs to go down. It is inadequate for them,” the political candidate said.

Scatliffe — who is seeking to become the next representative of the Fourth Electoral District, where the fire station in question is located — further told BVI News he is not the only one who has those sentiments.

“Speaking with the firemen, they agree,” Scatliffe said.

“If you are looking at what they (construction workers assigned to the fire station) are doing, they are starting from the roof. Nobody builds from the roof down. People build from the foundation up.”

Repairs to the building only began recently — some 15 months after the onslaught of Hurricane Irma.

Government signed a $795,541.62 contract with Quality Construction Limited to repair the hurricane-ravaged facility.

Same for ESHS

Scatliffe, in the meantime, further said the L-shaped buildings on the ESHS campus in Road Town should also be demolished and rebuilt.

“If we are going to do something, break it down and do it properly so when we put them (students) in there, we don’t have to worry about the building for the next 20 years.”

Education Minister Myron Walwyn had, however, said the L-shaped building — which is being restored to accept senior ESHS students — is structurally sound.

Walwyn said, while there is some structural work to be done on the building, the 2017 hurricanes had primarily damaged or destroyed the school’s electrical system and panels, and wiring. Lights and fixtures will also need replacing on all four floors of the L-shaped building before it becomes student-ready.


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  1. pvim heckler says:


    Like 45
    Dislike 2
    • Jaime says:

      Carl Scatliffe is a good town man. He take care the youth long time. That’s ma boy. Mark to back then. Put your X by Carl. Before all you pass judgment just hear the man.

      Like 4
      Dislike 7
      • Sam says:

        Yeah I hear you but he looking money just like the rest.

        Like 15
        • smith says:

          This man has a vision for the 4th district and the young people of the bvi..Mr scatliffe is good for road town.and our tourist product..the way our young people are heading we need people like Mr scatliffe to keep them off the streets and doing positive things..

          Like 3
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  2. Yup! says:

    I agree 100% in this view. These structures need demolished and re-build as modern facilities that will serve this country long into the future.

    Like 41
    Dislike 1
    • . says:

      Nobody was happy with the high school before Irma. Start over.

      Like 6
      Dislike 1
    • Tall man says:

      So I guess every building in the BVI need breaking down and building over?the fact that the building is still standing it shows the structure is strong So why destroy it? Karl said he did construction before he never said as what…. break down the fire station and house the firemen where? How long would it take to break down and rebuild the ESHS from foundation up? How long do you expect to continue to house children at the current location? As I been saying as a politician don’t tell me the problems with telling me your solutions then I won’t be able to vote for you,so Karl don’t come running with all that speed slow down brother…. you realise the only 2 things you touched what are the plans for the youths of district 4, the livelihood of the residents any major developments? You is a taxi operator what are some of the things you would like to see in and around Road Town as a man dealing with cruise passengers regular what it is we need to do to better our tourism product? For e.g boxing day we had nearly 8thousand cruise passengers here as you know cane garden bay was a mess smugglers road ain’t good that’s why alot of taxi men complain about going there,when would the reality kick in that other beaches needs to be developed and be promoted..

      Like 8
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  3. My 2 cents says:

    Lock up the wall man

    Like 9
    Dislike 6
  4. Blue says:

    I like this guy Karl Scatliffe. I don’t see Luce getting more than 50 votes. The competition is between him and mark. I would replace mark with him any day. Give him a chance people. Listen to him. He’s good people. Luce good fake. She is wasting her time. You have my family vote sir. Nice pic. Look at it. Just look at good people. I’m feeling hopeful.

    Like 5
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    • Not so fast says:

      Luce will get a lot more than 50 votes – fact! I agree with Karl’s assessment; however could he have done differently given the financial reality on the ground? Luce is not ‘fake’ as you suggested because she is not thumping down some issue that you can not pick at. Mark has been an abject failure for the past 6-8 years with very little tangible benefits to his reign. While I agree that the roof shouldn’t have been replaced; however an additional floor erected to better serve the department for years to come would have best. Shows the lack of foresight by the minister to ‘future-proof’ the building.

      Like 12
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      • Oops says:

        Forgive me dropping in without invitation but Mr. Scatliffe is correct on the fire station and partially on the ESHS. I say partially ecause the grand building is a sound structure. All the others. We’d pushing down. Then draft a plan that will great for the esthetic of the area, learning and recreation. We have some wonderful architects, engineers and builders am certain it would be easy to build a MODERN HS.

        Like 1
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    • Voter says:

      I hear to speak what can be prove to know the candidates. L— will likely create a muck in government and put civil servents against eachother. Could it be to satisfy ego and suck life out the country???? L— can turn on any member of government anytime. Look for the signs to keep power out the hands of some people. Throw a tantrum now or get to know the facts. Don’t act like you didn’t knew.

  5. Stupid talk says:

    Did you breakdown your house after the hurricane and build it back? How many of us did that after the hurricane unless the house went flat? Stop talking foolishness boss. If a structure is good why waste money and lick it down. Look at the high school building, that building is still a good building. It’s a big building that has value in the millions I’m sure. What sense would it make to demolish that? Karl please have several seats.

    Like 37
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    • Observer1 says:

      Good point! I was wondering where he, or the firemen who opined had studied structural engineering. It is silly season; a lot of people are going to talk a lot of foolishness.
      And while I am at it, where did this foolishness about “….giving him a chance..” come from? Is people’s future some kind of lottery or something worth no more than giving a candidate a “chance”?

  6. Know the facts says:

    The ESHS “L” shaped building is structurally sound. During its construction it was likened to a bomb shelter due to the large amount of reinforced concrete used in its construction. It would be a total waste and would take a lot of resources to demolish that building.

    Like 26
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  7. Reply says:

    Under different circumstances, I could be agreeing with Mr. Scatliffe fully, however, I have reservations about the country’s ability to pay to demolish and rebuilt structually unsound buildings, not to mention the logistics of doing so in one of the examples cited.

    1. I do not believe the country has the financial resources at this time to demolish and rebuilt government owned structures secondary to the hurricanes or otherwise.

    The money simply does not appear to be there, and the two pillars of the economy which can generate much needed revenues (tourism & financial) are under stress and have shrunk. Consequently, the country’s revenues are down from previous years.

    The damage from the hurricanes was estimated to be reportedly 5 plus billion, and thus far, the government has only been able to get a 3 hundred million plus loan guarantee from the U.K., a drop in the bucket, to aid it’s rebuilding effort, money that has to be repaid.

    2. The logistics of having to demolish and rebuild something like the Elmore Stoutt High School could result in a rather long and extended displacement of students that would simply be untenable. If the funds were available, a smaller structure like the Road Town Fire Station is more feasible to demolish and re-build as the disruption would be less.

    So, while I would agree that many buildings perhaps need to be demolished and re-built, the current circumstances and logistics does not appear feasible to do so.

    Perhaps when the economic outlook of the country improves, a piecemeal approach to demolishing and replacing structurally unsound buildings should be considered, but at this moment, it appears to me that perhaps repairing those buildings that were damaged is the more practical and cost effective approach.

    It’s unfortunate that this have to be patched up as usual, but the country does not appear to have the money to do what is being suggested imo.

    Like 14
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    • Weighing the options says:

      @Reply. You have made some solid and valid points in your comment. However, to further enriched the discussion, l have heard the CEO of the RDA mentioned on Honestly Speaking (rephrased) how some huge amount of monies (presumably on expectations of the UK loan and others- not fully disclosed) that they will be responsible for will be utilized in a manner to make sure we get value for money. Let us hope a disproportionate amount of this huge amount of money is not allocated towards administrative cost, salaries, and soft cost, and projects such as these mentioned by this young man- do not get short changed. Obviously, one of the RDA responsibilities will be to assess the options, evaluate opportunity cost, and best “use (lands, locations, etc.) short and long-term” value for the money (demolish or repair, build elsewhere, and logistical cost of each option, etc.). Staying open-minded and weighing all options this time around for our best present and future outlook.

      • Reply says:

        No argument with you point of view there. I do think this issue should be approached with an open mind.

        However,I believe its prudent that before buldings are demolished, an assessment should be made relative to the stability of the buildings in question, and more importantly, where the money is going to come from to rebuild.

        If a building can be salvaged, by all means salvage it. Not take a backhoe to everthing not knowing were the money is going to come from to finish the job.

        If this suggestion was made prior to the hurricanes and the events surrounding the Financial Industry, when we as a country was in a stronger financial position,I would be fully onboard.

        I believe given the financial position the country appears to be in, its important at this juncture to prioritize the limited financial resources there are. Just my thoughts.

    • Weighing all the options says:

      @Reply. You have made some solid and valid points in your comment. However, to further enriched the discussion, l have heard the CEO of the RDA mentioned on Honestly Speaking how some huge amount of monies (presumably on the expectation of UK loan and others- not yet fully disclosed) that they will be responsible for, will be utilized in a manner to make sure we get value for money. Let us hope a disproportionate amount of this huge amount of money is not allocated towards administrative cost, salaries, and soft cost, and projects such as these mentioned by this young man- do not get short changed. Obviously, one of the RDA responsibilities will be to assess the options, evaluate opportunity cost, and best “use (lands, new technology opts, locations, etc.) short and long-term” value for the money (demolish or repair, build elsewhere, and logistical cost of each option, etc.). Staying open-minded and weighing all options this time around for our best present and future outlook.

    • @reply says:

      While I do agree that you have some valid points, lets not forget the original plan for the high school after the construction of the L-shaped building was always to demolish the remaining buildings one by one to make room to complete the remainder of the plan drawn by the architect that did the L-shaped building.

  8. Musa says:

    Waste a time fix your home first.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
    • ? says:

      Is this even a fair comment to make? Lots of homes are not fixed but if we had the money to fix them we would have long time ago. Point is if we going spend tax payers dollars let’s use it doing the thing right and strong. That’s the point. Stop jumping on people’s personal situations. Today for me tomorrow for you. Remember that

      Like 1
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  9. P says:

    Look at the bathroom at the O A sherly
    Ground that they want to repair nothing
    On it is good only the 4 corner post.
    Set of fools

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
    • @P says:

      Repairs can mean demolishing the bad parts, minus the posts and fix it back. As a prior poster said, how many homes have you seen demolished because of Irma, as opposed to repaired? Stop being so f*****g stupid. A concrete structure once built properly is safe and secure, stop letting political bs blind you.

      Like 5
      Dislike 2
  10. So okayyyy says:

    So Mr.Scatto, what is your plan to come up with the money to rebuild. Explain to the people you are looking for votes from. I don’t trust anyone of you. You can talk all day long but what are you going to do to make sure the School and Fire Station is rebuild from scratch. That is the honest question I want to know as a voter.

    Like 20
  11. hmmmmm too.... says:

    i firmly agree 100%

  12. Fashion Police says:

    Get a decent hair cut and groom your facial hair. Then you will look like a professional. Right now you are not looking like a professional Candidate.

    Like 12
    Dislike 18
  13. Hmmm says:

    Neither the Fire Station or ESHS L Shaped Building are crumbling. The buildings were badly damaged but not worthy of total demolition as they can be repaired and serve their useful purpose. If this guy and others are really serious about getting stuff fixed and seeking to truly represent the people they would go the extra mile and get qualified persons to back up these loose and dangerous statements. This reminds me of when everyone said the ritter building over by Moorings was sinking and wasn’t any good. Now look at it, it survived the Hurricanes and provided refuge for so many. Now it’s at full capacity. Talk is cheap, the two buildings he is speaking about will be just fine once repaired.

    Like 16
  14. duck1951 says:

    True! Agreed . The money must come from somewhere .The custom house at West End is a greater priority at this time .

    Like 4
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  15. Strpzz says:

    Pure non-sense. These buildings may have lost windows, doors roofs etc., but they are structurally sound. They are solid buildings with no cracked walls that may cause no compromise to the building. Mortar crack is not the same as concrete cracks. The PVIM needs to be demolish talking crap.

    Like 20
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  16. two cents says:

    I agree!!! Repair the L shape building, but demolish the rest. The land is wasted with all those small structures littered on it. If anything, build another L shape. The land the ESHS is on is enough for the school to have a Gym, auditorium, pool, etc. Now is the time to run a drop-off road through the middle (lower Estate gate to entrance at court house) and have senior High on one side and Junior High on the other. Whatever you do, let it make sense and produce value for money.

  17. Devon says:

    We can all see what needs to be fixed etc… what we want to know is where is the money going to come from ?
    Waiting to hear money generating ideas from these candidates!

    Like 11
    • Thank you Devon says:

      I totally agree. I as a voter want Mr.Scatliffe to show me exactly where the money to demolish and rebuild two structurally built buildings is coming from. Show me your plans and then maybe I will consider given you my vote.

  18. Dub version says:

    I would not have confidence in a candidate who would recommend knocking down large, expensive structures without first referring to formal structural assessments (if any were done at all).

  19. E. Leonard says:

    Both facilities were decimated by the catastrophic, cat 5 September 2017 hurricanes——Irmaria. Consequently, a qualified/certified structural engineer/engineering firm should conduct a structural analysis/engineering evaluation of both facilities (if it has not already been done) before commencing any repairs on these buildings. It is a life, safety, economic……..etc issue.

    Moreover, in regards to the ESHS campus that sits on a prime piece of real estate in Road Town, the capital city, there is a great opportunity to improve the land use of this piece of prime real estate and modernized the campus. As such, to optimize the land use , the campus needs to be razed, resited, redesigned and reconstructed. The redesigned campus can include labs, cafeteria(s), gyms, sports facilities…….etc. Further, the Central Library is looking for a permanent home. The ESHS campus redesign can include a joint ESHS-Public Library. Additionally, the ESHS can double as a rideout shelter during hurricanes and other disasters.

    Undoubtedly, redesigning the ESHS campus will delay the project and require increased funding. However, in a twisted way, the hurricane devastation presented an opportunity to maximize the land use. How can the project be funded? I’m anticipating heavy incoming fire for what I’m going to proposed. Proposed assessing a tax on property/land based on assessed value to reconstruct the ESHS campus. The tax can have let say a 15-20 sunset clause (after 15-20 years, the tax goes away). Investing on human capital is a great investment.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
    • Solid suggestions says:

      @E. Leonard. I agree. The time is ripe for a full assessment of scarce central lands usage/options and buildings/structural functionalities; in particular, taking into account our possible future population growth.

    • Splendid suggestions says:

      @E. Leonard. I agree. The time is ripe for a full assessment of scarce central lands usage/options and buildings/structural functionalities; in particular, taking into account our possible future population growth and needs.

    • to E. Leonard says:

      Mr. Leonard, I have to admire your contributions whenever you comment and offer insight. They are very practical and logical. I was actually in First Form (now 7th grade) when ground was broken for that L-Shaped building to be erected back in 1993/1994. As very young students, we were all very excited when we heard “lockers, gym, swimming pools, labs, library, etc etc etc.” as I got older, i understood that the plan was to start the L-Shape building to accommodate 4th and 5th year students, and that another L-Shape would’ve followed in due time so that the final product would’ve been a square with open atrium (or so) in the middle. i can only assume it was an HL Stoutt directive, and sadly, the vision may have rested in peace along with him as nothing has been done to expand that area since. Now in century 21, when it has become increasingly apparent that we can efficiently use every square inch of land space – – – particularly FLAT land space, I would suggest that that L-Shaped building is refurbished to modern standards, and that the “atrium” is utilized to build a gym, auditorium, indoor swimming pool, administrative offices, etc, and another L-Shape Building adjacent to house more class rooms. the flat land that was occupied by the newly constructed building that was blown to smithereens by Irma and Maria can be utilized for Junior High section. This approach would maximise use of existing space, whilst at the same time, saving close to half of the space for very important use like Govt offices, and for even a Public Library as was suggested in a previous post.

    • Diaspora says:

      Agree that the territory is tiny and its limited acreage should be maximized. However, the BVI is a small resource poor locale and most of its needs are funded through taxes and fees. BVI residents may be heavily taxed and this additional special property tax to fund ESHS reconstruction may sink like a lead balloon. BVI people want more services but have a disdain for more taxes to pay for them. In many jurisdictions in the US, property taxes is the work horse that funds public education; special/fenced property taxes are also used to pay for roads, recreation and so on.

      • Tax man says:

        Let’s just throw another couple of taxes and fees on tourists. They don’t mind paying for all our govt foolishness. Don’t want to make locals actually pay and possibly even want to take care of something because they paid for it. Nope,just tax tourists for our big items and park dumpsters all around the island to show off our national pride.

    • Sunset Clause says:

      “The tax can have let say a 15-20 sunset clause (after 15-20 years, the tax goes away).” This work in the US but not in the BVI. Laws in the BVI are cemented on the books forever. Would this mean floating a bond (another US ting) to pay for ESHS reconstruction? Now you know Tortola people ain’t wanna pay for nuthing. Unu does cum up wid dese ideas frum.

  20. Had to ask says:

    I Email photos of the Fire House and the L shaped building to a buddy of mine who happens to be a Structural Engineer in the USA. He said the structure on both was perfectly fine. To knock down the buildings and start over will cost tons of money and who is going to cover the cost. The tax payers.

    Like 4
    Dislike 3
    • @Had to ask says:

      @Had to ask, is this friend of yours a registered professional structural engineer (SE)? Here is a news flash. To the best of my knowledge and experience, one cannot look at a picture and determine if a building is structural sound. The foundation, columns, beams, girders and other structural components have to be evaluated to determined if they are structurally sound enough to carry the imposed dead/live loads.

      • RealPol says:

        @@Had to ask, real talk. Wonder if this structural engineer, if he is registered, would seal construction documents based just on pictures? If he would, any potential client needs to head due west and sprinting like Usain Bolt to make a quick get away. Dealing with him could be dangerous to one’s health. To tell the truth, doubt if a “real engineer” would make such a decision that could if wrong pose a serious risk to life and property.

  21. So since when says:

    Sorry but, since when a group of firemen who hardly knows how to put out a fire knows about building structure? Oh, and FYI, my contractor fixed my roof before he started on the rest of my house.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  22. @ Dub version says:

    Run man run!! Experience and knowledge you seem to have. Run man run!

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  23. Lordie says:

    All these wanna bees politicians come to get a from the cookie jar.

  24. Political Intelligence says:

    Karl Scatliffe does not know what he is talking about. What is his level of knowledge in structural Engineering? Those buildings are structurally sound. Old buildings can be refurbished to look like brand new.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  25. Anonymous says:

    I understand; however, the question remains, can the country afford to do this now? I for one always thought the campus could be improved. Had it not been for this financial crunch the country appears to be in, I will still be in support of such improvements, but the recent financial condition of the country has given me pause.

    If and when the country’s finances do improve, I do agree they should proceed with that plan as you stated on building at a time in a manner that will be least disruptive.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
    • Of course says:

      There are people who have offered to build a proper state of the art facility but the elected officials have not taken the opportunity. Just like other infrastructure options. They are there but the old ways of those in charge are getting in the way of rebuilding our country properly. That we have such a terrible facility, that it was all but destroyed and only charity workers have done anything to help so far and that more than a year later, government has not let the sponsors and proper construction specialists get it done is a crime on the children and the future of this territory.

      This man, electable or not, is speaking some sense. There need to be not a patch up job like our crumbling roads but proper investment in resilient and sustainable infrastructure and a huge investment in our schools. That Dawn Smith has made contact with NUS is encouraging but so much more is needed.

      To pay back some of these projects? Every other successful competitor of ours is creating a welcoming environment for those with a significant investment of their lives, not only money, in the success of the country. Whether it is five eight or ten years, permanent residency without the initial right to vote and with a preferred stamp duty rate in between belonged and non-resident would be a real shot in the arm for the economy, including the viability and quality of schools and other services such as making the figures work better for airlift for the tourism sector. A manageable number would be incentivised to make this a more permanent home and invest accordingly as has happened elsewhere. This is absolutely urgent as the OECD at the behest of the economic enemies of the structures that is London, the Overseas Territories are seeking to make us have more economic substance. To then have people and opportunity here, and it has to be qualified executives not just people who randomly sign the odd document and open and forward post, is important for opportunities to be available for our current and future population and people are not staying in enough numbers (belonger or resident) after kids finish junior school or because the facilities are so very limited because of greedy landlords or short-sighted politicians blocking permits for various restaurants, shops and amenities. In this way it will not be that belongers pick up a load of this work but the business will go to places people including skilled belongers prefer to live, be that cayman and Bermuda over here, the Channel Islands or Singapore and HK. The message, if we don’t build back better for our own people and to accommodate our changing industry will be sorry you weren’t fit for purpose and more. Alternatively, if we quickly make the right decisions, a very bright future awaits an evolved BVI out of the apparent adversity.

  26. Political Intelligence says:

    Im not a supporter of Mark for the next election cycle FYI.

  27. Damn Right says:

    True, quick fixes are a waste of money. However, is the BVI patient enough for real and long-term fixes?

    Like, should the High School be there in the first place? Isn’t that compound better uses for a Legal District which will have ALL the Courts, a new Police Station, Legislative Council, and the renovated 4-story classroom building for legal offices?

    Shouldn’t there be two High Schools, probably one in Apple Bay and the other in Josiah’s Bay?

    Shouldn’t Scatliffe Alley be revitalized for nightlife? Like, make it a Village of pubs, restaurants, and nightclubs, vibrantly painted, and well secure with Police presence at each alley entry? This would give the cruise ships and yachting guests reason to overnight in Tortola.

    Shouldn’t Irma be used as an impetus to plan certain things properly (and some ugly areas clean)? Shouldn’t Government offer some property owners free and clear land in exchange for their damaged eye-sore properties to make for better planning?

    Do we REALLY want to do this right, or will people complain that Government is taking too long for this or that?

  28. Lol says:

    $795,541.61 . Your all mad just read that number again . To repair the fire station I’d say 50% is made up of bungs and local so called “trades men” gouging. Most building in BVI are poor and crumbling because you just don’t building properly, poor concrete and just throw in a bit of re bar. No design and no freaking idea what you are doing. The only decent building within budget are designed and built and funded by people from outside BVI oh but you don’t like that because you can’t get your grubby hands on cash. Doomed I tells you because the outside world is fed up with you .

  29. The chosen one says:


  30. Anonymous says:

    We, the people, are asking to have a bill floored immediately and passed at the HOA as soon as possible making three debates mandatory for ALL candidates to be elected or reelection territory wide.

    Reasons? The debates would answer those questions.

  31. wise owl says:

    Why not let the kids who are doing the college’s construction course work on the school as part of their class and a weekend beginners course for the high schoolers payment and all invest in our future and our future will be productive as well as profitable . . Two dead birds and a stone

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