Construction of $ 857M Good Hope High School plagued with “challenges”
15 months later…
– contractor to complete the project by August
Kaieteur News – Fifteen months after its completion, the construction of the $ 857M Good Hope High School on Demerara’s East Coast remains incomplete due to “challenges” facing the contractor.
The contract for the construction of the school was awarded to BK International Incorporated in October 2018, with work commencing the same month. The deadline for completion was January 2020.
On Sunday, Kaieteur News contacted BK International spokesman Adam Harris who said the school was “almost complete”. However, as he was involved in the ongoing “challenges” in the construction process, Harris said he was not “aware”, but would contact the Chief Engineer and make inquiries.
This announcement understands that the contractor has been ordered to complete the project by August 2021.
The construction of the school is subject to the Guyana Secondary Education Improvement Project (GSEIP), funded by the World Bank, which seeks to assist in the achievement of universal secondary education, to modern standards. Three schools – Good Hope High School, Westminster High School and Prospect High School – were to be built under the GSEIP.
According to Education Minister Priya Manickchand, the People / Civic Progressive Party (PPP / C) had planned the project and secured funding since 2014, which initially provided for six schools to be built but reduced in number that to three.
It was during a site visit to the recently completed $ 1B Westminster School that Manickchand revealed that “challenges” were occurring in the process of building the Good Hope School. She had also expressed optimism that she might be ready in time for the new school year, which begins in September, to serve students in District Four (Demerara-Mahaica).
The Minister is due to visit the school today to assess the work being done to identify the challenges facing the contractor.
When Manickchand took up his post in August last year, he had made it clear that the delay in completing the school was unacceptable and was told by technical experts that the project might not be completed until May (next month) ). Noting that it was “totally unacceptable”, she said that “people who bid for and win contracts must ensure that they do what they have to do to fulfill the terms they have signed them in the contract. ”
The incomplete Good Hope School, says the Minister, has prevented hundreds of students from reaping the benefits of the project. In addition, he had reiterated his Ministry’s zero tolerance stance for contractors seeking to blame the school’s incompletion on COVID-19, as the pandemic would have started until after January 2020 when the project was due to was completed.
The last update given on completion of the school indicated that it was completed 75 per cent.
The school intends to accommodate approximately 800 students. It will include an information technology laboratory, several techno-vocational laboratories, a multi-purpose hall, a modern library, 26 classrooms and other facilities.
In addition, about 195 students were placed in the incomplete school after writing the Grade Six Assessment last year, and Manickchand revealed that they would prefer to attend upon completion if they so wish.