Saturday 4 April, 2020

More than $700K for repairs to Point Fortin East Secondary

Photo via Facebook, Dr Lovell Francis.

Photo via Facebook, Dr Lovell Francis.

The Education Ministry intends to spend in excess of $700,000 to address urgent infrastructural issues at the Point Fortin East Secondary School.

Work is expected to begin in the coming days.

The announcement on Tuesday follows a walkout staged by teachers at the school who complained about “unsafe” working conditions, which included an infestation of bats, rats and cockroaches.

Minister in the Education Ministry Dr Lovell Francis, accompanied by Point Fortin MP Edmund Dillon, Mayor Kennedy Richards Jr, the Borough Council, the school’s Principal and members of the PTA Executive conducted a tour of the school on Tuesday.

Francis acknowledged that there were concerns to be addressed, but assured that work will begin in a few days to begin rectifying these issues.

The Junior Minister thanked the parents of the students at the school for their patience and understanding in the matter.

The Ministry, which denied ignoring calls by parents of students at the school for repairs, said work has been ongoing to address a range of issues at the school, with more than $700,000 spent on repairs carried out during the July/August 2019 Vacation Repairs Programme.

In relation to concerns by parents and teachers, the Ministry has engaged the National Maintenance Training and Security Company (MTS) to prepare the necessary Scope of Works and respective estimates. Once approval is granted by the Ministry, the MTS will tender the project for a contractor to execute the works.

Ceiling repairs and associated electrical works to Block B, refurbishment of students’ washrooms, repairs to staff room staircase, replacement to louvers in Block J, overhaul of the auditorium stage and the air conditioning in room C of the prefabricated building are some of the works to be undertaken.

This follows the work completed during the Vacation Repair Programme which included the installation of additional electrical outlets in the library and staff room, sewer repairs, replacement of ceilings in Blocks P, M and in the library, the replacement of guttering from Blocks C to Q and the refurbishment of staff washrooms.

Emergency repairs were also carried out in December 2019: the cleaning and desludging of the sewer system, replacement of sewer pumps, repairs to the control panel and the repair and replacement of gas lines and gas taps.  

Inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA) visited the school following the completion of works and granted the necessary approvals declaring the school safe for occupation by staff and students.

The Ministry assured that it is committed to addressing the issues at the school, despite current financial challenges affecting the country.

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