The demolition and re-construction of the St Rose’s High School is slated to commence during the August holidays, while school is out.
This is according to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon on Thursday, who asserted that in addition to the $16.9M contract which was awarded to PD Contracting for the demolition of part of the age old structure earlier this year, another sum of $352M has been granted to Courtney Benn Constructing Services Limited for the re-construction.
“I believe, because it’s a school, these works most likely will commence during the August holidays so that it does not interfere or interrupt the actual school work that is taking place…As you know, St Rose’s is still an active secondary school and therefore work which has to be done… on this contract will be facilitated by the previous contract which was awarded for the demolition of the building,” he explained.
In February of this year, Cabinet had approved the lump sum to be paid to PD Contracting for a section of the High School to be demolished.
The school’s Board of Governors Chairman, Kenrick Thomas, in a letter, had indicated that the demolition would be limited to the aged, wooden section of the building facing Church Street since it was in a state of disrepair.
“This decision was taken only after extensive consultations over many years to determine the viability of retaining this edifice because of its historical importance and architectural integrity. After much deliberation and with the primary goal being to provide a safe, up-to-date and innovative building for the development of our students, and only after exploring every option to preserve the building was the decision unhappily taken to demolish the structure,” Thomas had stated.
He noted that given that it was almost entirely made of wood – some portions being up to 100-plus years old- the building was now structurally incapable of providing a safe environment for the more than 700 students that utilise the facility.
As such, he added that the auditorium has not been used as a general meeting hall for the past five years and the building was evacuated completely during the past year to ensure that there would be no mishaps.
Nevertheless, the Chairman assured that the replacement structure would incorporate many aspects of the original design and would integrate the design of the Marion and other wings on the property, including retention of the green space courtyard area, a unique feature of the school.
This demolition exercise was expected to have been conducted during the Easter holidays, last.
Nevertheless, the reconstruction is intended to take place immediately following the demolition and the project is expected to last for approximately 24 months. (Ramona Luthi)