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Delaying repair of ESHS would be 'unconscionable'- Hon Fahie

- Four contracts awarded for refurbishing to commence now
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) stated that his administration is looking forward for students to return to a full day school in September after being placed on a shift system since the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2019. Photo: GIS
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), 9th from left, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), 8th from left, along with other Government officials, take a photograph with representatives of the contracting companies tasked with refurbishing the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS). Photo: Facebook
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), 9th from left, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), 8th from left, along with other Government officials, take a photograph with representatives of the contracting companies tasked with refurbishing the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS). Photo: Facebook
The passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 severely damaged the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS), including the L. shaped building. Photo: Facebook
The passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 severely damaged the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS), including the L. shaped building. Photo: Facebook
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), center, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), left, and Autley Crabbe of Autland Heavy Equipment Ltd sign one of the contracts to refurbish the L-shaped building of Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS). Photo: GIS
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), center, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), left, and Autley Crabbe of Autland Heavy Equipment Ltd sign one of the contracts to refurbish the L-shaped building of Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS). Photo: GIS
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The L-shaped building of Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) is expected to be ready to accommodate students in September 2019, with the awarding of four contracts for refurbishing works to progress immediately.

The four contracts were awarded to Roy A. Garraway of Quality Construction Ltd, Brian Marshal of Metro Construction Ltd, Autley Crabbe of Autland Heavy Equipment Ltd and Rayneau Gajathuar of Construction Industrial and Equipment, a company out of St Lucia collaborating with local contractor Mr Gregory Hodge.

The contract signing ceremony was done yesterday, April 18, 2019 in the compound of the Elmore Stoutt High School in Road Town, on the main island of Tortola.

Children & Education top priority- Hon Fahie

Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) stated that his administration is looking forward for students to return to a full day school in September after being placed on a shift system since the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2019.

He also noted that the contracts signed are not just mere contracts for construction, but a contract that signifies the importance that his government puts on the Territory’s children and education.

The refurbishing of ESHS L-shaped building, Hon Fahie stated, was one of his Government’s first priorities. “During our first briefing on the issue it became clear to me that of we continued with the approach that we inherited construction here would not have started for another year. But already our children have been disadvantaged for 18 long months, forced into shortened school days and less academic contact time. To add another 12 months to that would have been unconscionable.”

In order to get the reconstruction fast tracked and to have it started now instead of next year, Hon Fahie said the decision was made to forego the regional funding option through the Caribbean Development Bank, which has its inbuilt extended preparation time, and instead use local funding.

Local contractors to benefit from project

Premier Fahie noted there was another upside to forego regional funding for the project, and that was affording Government the opportunity to engage multiple local contractors to carry one aspect of the rebuilding simultaneously.

“We are excited about our children getting back here in 2019, but we are also excited for an opportunity to engage the local construction industry and be able to offer local contractors a source of income, and today I thank you for your patience. Local contractors are key partners in the rebuilding of this Territory.”

Teachers applauded

Meanwhile, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) commended teachers, parents and students for the patience exercised and the dedication demonstrated during the very difficult months.

Honourable Wheatley said, “You have committed yourselves to the future of this Territory which is the children.  As educators, I can appreciate that you are in the business of education not because of the income, but the outcome.”

The refurbishing of the building will allow students in grades seven to nine of the Elmore Stoutt High School to return to a full day of class sessions.

The passage of the hurricane severely damaged the school and students were placed on a shift system since 2017. Students from Seventh to Ninth Grade attend school in the morning from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon while Tenth to Twelfth Grades students attend classes from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

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