Minister Bradshaw gives update on SMD in Six Roads
MINISTER of Education Santia Bradshaw says it could take another $3 to $4 million to finish the School Meals Department (SMD) in Six Roads, St. Philip.
She was responding to a question posed by Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley on the first day of the Estimates debate yesterday.
According to Bradshaw, Last year when we spoke on the issue of Six roads I indicated that as I came to Office assuming that we were going to be able to turn keys and move into the Six Roads facility only to discover that there had been significant cost overruns at that facility under the last administration.
We had spent the last few months negotiating with the contractor; we have had to meet with the sub-contractors as well on the site with the view of trying to negotiate.
There are lots of legal issues that I suspect will arise in relation to the non-payment of funds by the main contractor to sub-contractors. The matter is currently before the Planning and Priorities body
so that we will return to them on Friday with a view of putting a plan of action in place to take back over the facility by the ETMU (Education Technical Management Unit) department to
ensure that project is completed, she added.
In its current form we have not been able to reach an agreement in terms of the way forward with the contract and we have spent a lot of meetings trying to come to consensus but we have not been able to come to consensus on the monies that he believes are owed to him, she continued.
She told those gathered, When we went to the facility there was tremendous equipment in the facility. It is perhaps about 70 per cent completed but it will probably take between another $3 or $4 more million to be able to complete. And there is lots of landscaping work that still has to be done. There was a dispute initially regarding the kitchen pipes, and that led to a long protracted, drawn out process of negotiation.
The contractors indicated that they could proceed with the pipes as they work and the project manager disagreed with the installation of the pipes and the ability of the pipes to take the temperature that would emanate from the kettles in the kitchen. As a consequence we have agreed that we will move toward a termination of the agreement with a view to moving forward to restart the facility and get it back into operation in the shortest time frame, the education minister stated.
Back in 2018 Minister Bradshaw lamented that the facility started out at $19 million and six years later the cost had shot up to $26 million and counting.
The building was expected to improve accommodations for the staff of the SMD now headquartered in Country Road, The City, and double as a mass feeding centre in times of natural disaster.