EDUCATION MINISTER Dr Nyan Gadsby- Dolly and Opposition MP Anita Haynes yesterday squared off over repair works taking place at Gasparillo Secondary School.
At the Parliament sitting, the minister answered an urgent question, saying critical works on the school were completed and that the school’s infrastructure has shown no sign of being structurally compromised and is not collapsing.
She said classes are ongoing at the school at this time.
She noted the school is 39 years old and, as any other building that age, which houses 742 pupils, it requires extensive repair- some items have been deemed critical, while some have been scheduled to be completed over the course of the academic year.
The minister said work on some of the items which were deemed critical began during the July-August 2023 vacation period- namely, roof and ceiling replacement in Block B, and covered walkways.
She said these works were completed, and A/C units are now being replaced and/or serviced.
The minister said the next phase of work scheduled, which was agreed on when the ministry visited the site with staff on September 7, includes:
Electrical works to Block B, E and the Administrative Block; Burglar-proofing repair to
Blocks B and E;
Repairs to Block B, including railings, stairwells, windows, partitions, box drains, masonry repair, repainting.
She said for all other schools, the ministry continues to work with the National Maintenance Training and Security Co Ltd (NMTS) on continuous school repair, in an effort to ensure disruption to school operations is kept at a minimum.
In an immediate response, Haynes said: ‘Madame Minister, I came from the school today with the PTA (parent-teachers association) this morning. The works that you have cited as having been completed with the ceiling… in fact has not been completed, so do you have a signoff from the contractor that
those works were completed because I have photographs from today of incomplete ceilings.’
The minister said the works as indicated have been completed as certified by the ministry’s facilities department as well as the NMTS.
She reiterated there is other work to be done at the schoolm but the most critical works have been completed. Haynes asked for a timeline for the completion of the works, but the minister said to give a date would not be the right thing to do as work is ongoing and can be intensive.