Ministry of Works and Utilities tours projects underway at public schools

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(BIS Photos/Raymond Bethel)

By Kathryn Campbell

Works and Utilities Minister the Hon. Alfred Sears toured four public schools throughout New Providence, January 6, 2022 to get a first-hand view of the status of ongoing infrastructure projects.

Following the guided walk-throughs of L.W. Young Junior High, Uriah McPhee Primary, Claridge Primary and Sybil Strachan Primary, Minister Sears expressed satisfaction on the progress of the work underway at these institutions.

“I am very pleased that so many of these projects have been expedited so we can be ready in the face of this pandemic to carry on the most important function in this society which is the tooling, socializing function that our schools undertake,” said Minister Sears. Melanie Roach, Director; Luther Smith, Permanent Secretary; Robert Mouzas, Deputy Director; Tim Johnson, Senior Architect, Mohammed Ahmad, Senior Engineer; Terran Rodgers and Mark Smith, Project Officers, and other representatives of the Ministry, participated in the four-hour tour.

Minister Sears praised the technical team and project officers for their supervision and thanked the contractors for the excellent work their respective teams are carrying out.

“We hope that in the trajectory given the epidemiological projections, that we will be able to have our students, teachers, staff and colleagues back in face-to-face instruction…. Our job is to have the infrastructure ready for whenever the opening of face-to face learning [takes place]” he said.

Ian Stubbs, Senior Master at LW Young, pointed out work underway on the pavilion and various rooms including Agriculture and Home Economics.

“The work is pretty extensive; with the benefit of our technical colleagues we were assured that the work is being done at a high standard and the projected deadline would be met.”

The work being carried out at Uriah McPhee Primary School by Scorpio Construction Ltd. is focused primarily on the roof. Minister Sears along with some of his colleagues ascended a mechanical access platform to view the extensive roof work on the four-floor structure. On the advice of Project Officer Smith, he assured that the work is being done in a very “efficient” and “excellent” manner.

The repair of a classroom and installation of a gate are among the work projects at Claridge Primary School. Mr. Johnson, Terry Delancey of Virgo Construction and Esther Moultrie-Cartwright, principal, guided the delegation on the visit to this institution. When the delegation arrived at Sybil Strachan Primary School they met a bustling campus with approximately 130 construction workers adding a new roof to the
administration block, upgrading classrooms, restrooms etc.

“An incredible undertaking is underway with quite extensive work. The pavilion’s roof is being replaced. Throughout the primary/pre-school level we see the basic infrastructure being improved for the connecting of the various blocks and the computer block being substantially upgraded,” said Minister Sears.

“In each of these four schools we were given assurance that the schools will be ready when the Minister of Education declares the opening of face-to-face instruction.”

Minister Sears said his Ministry will inspect other infrastructural work in the upcoming weeks. He recently led tours of Grand Bahama, Abaco and various cays, where infrastructure and homes were devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

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