School plans change again

| 21/07/2010

(CNS): Government says it now plans to re-tender the construction management job at the two new high school sites following it s decision to phase the schools’ completion in order to save cash. The Ministry of Education said on Wednesday that construction at the Clifton Hunter and John Gray sites will continue where possible, under the supervision of the Ministry’s project team with additional support until the new tender process is complete. Rolston Anglin stated that the new construction management tender will reflect the changes and government’s decision to phase the projects over a longer period and will be re-advertised shortly.

The need to slow down and phase the projects was announced during the budget presentation last month, in the Legislative Assembly as a result of government’s operational costs, limits on further borrowing and its intended spending plans in the 2010/11 year.
 
“The phasing of the high school projects has changed the scope of the original tender for construction management services, hence the need to re-tender,” Anglin explained. He also said the planned demolition at John Gray High School will also be delayed as the ministry has to balance this with the demands of the construction schedule and the educational needs of the teaching staff and students.
 
“Given the importance of the latter, it has been concluded that the next stage of the demolition should be delayed until summer 2011. As a result, the initial focus of the work at the new JohnGrayHigh School will be on particular buildings, which educators have prioritised. This will be reflected in the new tender,” the education minister said in an official statement from GIS.
 
Construction will continue during the interim and tenders for packages of work at the sites have also recently been advertised and more will shortly follow, Anglin revealed. “This new work should provide a boost to the local economy and new opportunities for employment.” Minister Anglin stated adding that the summer vacation would provide a window of opportunity to progress construction and limit the impact on the educational environment for the coming school year. 
 
Tenders for firms laying concrete have already been advertisedand contractors have until 5 August to respond which will create some new jobs although others will be lost. Caribbean Mechanical one of the firms that has been doing some limited work at the sites says it has now readjusted its work force downwards as a result of the slowing down of the overall projects but confirmedthat it has been working in conjunction with the ministry over the new plans.
 
Following wide speculation that government intended to completely slow down or even ‘mothball’ the projects Anglin said, “…government remains committed to the completion of both schools …with the CliftonHunterHigh School scheduled to be finished first”.
 
During the recent tender process the Central Tender’s Committee had held off awarding a contract to a project manager even though the details of the bids had been leaked. The documents revealed that of the local and international firms bidding for the work the best value bid according to the initial criteria was Hensel Phelps Construction which is based in Colorado with a bid of $6.5 million. The consortium of local companies that included McAlpine, Dart, and the now bankrupt Hadsphaltic submitted a bid totalling $8.5million for the same job.
 
Government officials say that to date around $70 million has been spent on the two schools which were originally meant to cost around $110 million to complete. A further $17 million in add-ons and change orders currently remains in dispute following the departure of the original general contractor Tom Jones International Ltd which walked off both job sites in November, last year.
 
TJI Ltd said government did not have the money to fund the projects and filed a civil suit against it claiming $2.9 million in overdue payments. Government then terminated the contract resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs on the sites.
 
The government has raised the possibility of finding a public private partner to help finance the two projects which is now expected to cost considerably more than the original bids, but has not yet made any officials comment on a possible investor.
 
 
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Comments (36)

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  1. anonymous says:

    Oh yes,

    Caymanian Real Estate Brokers are the worst. And the Bank loan officers are not far behind, They are some conivers too. They try to keep Caymanians from making a living being paid a commission for their work. That’s not all, the Caymanians seeking to buy property, do back door deals against their own Caymanianian Agents struggling to make a deal to put bread on the table !   Its quite a show! They need to work for themselves as independent Agents and no one else. They get stolen from 24-7’s

    I’m convinced that Caymanians are their own enemy no one else.

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    Watching the Cayman Government trying to do ANYTHING is like watching someone try to put a cat in a glass of water.  More like a very expensive circus act with a lot of clowns.  Funny the first time but that was a long time ago.  Until the people realize that Caymanian dose not necessarily equal Qualified, competent, or honest, the circus will never leave town.

    In Grand Cayman right now the town is leaving the circus.  Good luck Cayman.  Without wisdom failure is the future.

  3. Bobby Anonymous says:

    Why is everyone blaming the Government?

    The Government IS it’s people who voted them in. Blame the voters not the ruling party. If you don’t like it. Tough! Think before you vote!

    • Black sheep leader says:

      Your absolutley right!  Lets blame the Voters (Civil Service workers, Cayman airways workers, Turtle farm workers, etc. etc.)  OOPS  I guess I really should have substituted employees for the word workers.    My Bad.

  4. Anonymous says:

    PPM meeting tomorrow night ANYONE for PPM again?

    • Dilemma says:

      Well cant speak for everyone but "As for me and my house" a resounding NO NO NO

    • Anonymous says:

      Er, no. Next question.

    • Man says:

      No thanks. I still recall the indigestion the PPM gave this country.

      Minister Anglin, I have read all the press reporting’s on this subject and I must say, you are not demonstrating you have the knowledge to lead this Ministry. Please get all the facts and make a decision for the betterment of this country. So far, you have created a great deal of ambiguity with respect to UCCI and the new schools. Education cannot become a political football and you are obligated to communicate a clear plan to us through the media.

      You are validating the Premier’s decision to remove you as the Deputy Premier.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A truly welfare situation. Can’t pay the 25 cent fuel tax like the rest of us but get us to pay $2million for road and $9 million for a private residence (aka shelter with private rooms). Is there a $9 million shelter on Grand Cayman? What about one for LC too!

    I have my hand out too but hope I don’t die from wishful thinking while I wait!!

  6. noname says:

    Sounds perfectly sensible to get one school finished first and then tackle the other. Surely this will benefit the countries accounts. The decision to build two simultaneously was a mistake and to award both to the same contractor compounded the error. I believe it is unfair to blame the school situation on the present government. The islanders appear to be focussing on all the negatives at the moment rather than trying to make the most of what is a very challenging economic situation across the globe. 

  7. Man says:

    There are 15 imbeciles in Parliament folks and the PPM is not the answer. To attend their meeting is a waste of time. They will offer nothing more than what we the people are offering on here. We must remember we removed the PPM because of spending which has lead to an increase cost of living for all of us. We must now begin the process to remove the UDP. It is time for us to look to our young professionals and elect 15 people who have never been elected before, stop selling our votes and stand by the next new Government.

    • Dilemma says:

      I agree with you 100%;its high time for new blood…

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly my thoughts. Cayman is crying out for a real choice.

      Will some folks PLEASE consider forming a new party. The time is ripe.

      We must break this cycle of the "other" party simply biding there time until the public get fed up with the ruling government and vote for a "change". Some change. More like reverting.

      You political aspirants, please observe the situation in the UK with the Liberal Democrats – you could be in positions of responsibility sooner than you think!

      • Anonymouse says:

        Just don’t look in to how long the LibDems have been around as a political party. You migh be old professionals before any young professionals get voted in.

    • Ray says:

      Really? The so called "PPM spending lead to an increase cost of living for all of us"? How did that work exactly? A check of the country’s budget for the first year of the current Government shows that loan repayments accounted for about 4% of that total budget, and that includes repayments towards previous loans as well. Do the same for the current budget yourself. I do not see that the spending on needed capital projects caused any cost of living increase. If anything the cost of living went down during the PPM admisistration simply due to the reduction in fuel duty paid by CUC which would have percolated through to most costs.

  8. Ex-pat Eric says:
    "The government has raised the possibility of finding a public private partner to help finance the two projects which is now expected to cost considerably more than the original bids, but has not yet made any officials comment on a possible investor."
     
     
    That says it all!  TJI was right — CI government doesn’t havethe $ to finish the schools and obviously doesn’t have an understanding of project management.
     
    This will be way over budget and take a lot longer to complete!
     
    I feel extremely bad for the children as they still won’t have adequate education, a proper learning evironment, and materials with which to compete in the global work force. I’d wager their choices for future employment will be drastically effected or they’ll have to leave home to find a job.
     
    And guess what — a good many people (ex-pats) are going to be forced to leave island. That is going to do wonders for the price of rental properties and the local economy.
     
     
    • Man says:

      Yes but remember now, the people voted against the schools by electing the UDP. The UDP made it clear they opposed the schools.

    • Anonymous says:

      Looks like TJI was right.

       

      No contractorleaves a job if they are getting paid.  All these changes in plans only cost the country more money and in the end hurt the children.  After all it is the children that are missing out on the new schools and are also the one’s that will have to pay for these poor fiscal decisions.

    • Anonymous says:

      The reason this project is delayed once again may be that the Ministry of Education could not justify giving the contract to who they wanted to.  This may have created problems with the govt tenders committee which caused the leak about the overseas company getting the contract. As you will recall all hell broke loose at that time.  Now we hear the Minister of Education say they are going to retender for the Frank Sound School.

      Why is this necessary if the previous bidders were required to separate costs on the two school projects already?

      How can certain people from another island in the region know all the details of who had bid and what the bids were at a very early date in the process? 

      No doubt the "preferred" bidder will now have all the information necessary to prepare and submit the winning tender.

      Hooray! 

       

       

  9. Anonymous says:

    A new tender will enable a local Johnny come lately to bid and sub-contract to foreigners – just like the TJ episode! What good is that going to do for the economy and what good did Tom Jones do for our Caymanians?  Stay with the tried and true local contractors, McAlpine, Arch and Godfrey, who we know can handle the job, come in on budget and not run away from the islands with the money and the assets.

    Maybe this is the design and intention of the Government to take the work away from the Caymanians!

    Keep Cayman Caymanian!!

    • Anonymous says:

      It already is Caymanian.  How can you tell?  Easy!  Answer just 2 Questions.

      1.  Is it srewed up?

      2.  Is a lot of money being spent on it?

      If your Caymanian your so used to this system that you think its normal.

  10. One Very Frustrated Mother says:

    Oh yes my child’s education can be put on hold, yet the Brac gets a 9 million dollar Shelter that can accommodate more than the population!!

    This is one incompetent government and I’m sick of them!

    I will be going to the PPM General meeting tomorrow night that is for sure!

    I’ve enough of this now, the UDP has to go NOW! Not just Mac; all of them! They allow this man to do what ever he wants!!

    I have now officially lost all faith in them, and they have only been their a year!!

    Enough is enough!

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM is not the answer, they are the whole reason why we are where we are at now.  My, how our memories are so short..

      The UDP is doing exactly as the PPM did. I am not sure that here is any other solution than to rid ourselves of both parties,

      • One Very Frustated Mother says:

        Please tell me what you are talking about?

        In order for the UDP Gov to be "doing" the exact same thing the PPM Gov did that would actually mean doing something!!

        There is no denying that the PPM did some wrong, but hands down they are the better of the 2.

        Party politics is here… and guess what… it is here to stay! Sorry to those who don’t like it but it is true and it is as clear as day.

        I think it is time we get used to it, myself included.

        The PPM spent money, but we can see where all of our dollars went!! As far as I can see it is to benefit all Caymanians.

  11. Anonymous says:

    delays,inaction, flip-flops, u-turns….all trademarks of this udp government..

  12. Anonymous says:

    Regardless….Julianna does not need $9mio for a Hurricane Shelter in Cayman Brac, at this time.  Take that $9mio and subsidize Cayman Airways for their Cayman Brac Route or put it towards finishing these schools that are badly needed.

  13. Ex-Caymanian & Not by Choice says:

    Can anyone tell me why Govt tenders these Capital Projects, when the PWD & other Govt  departments can have these jobs and LOCAL CONTRACTOR have the SUB-CONTRACTS only this contribute to the local economy and save the Govt from being Ripped Off (XXXX)

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d suggest that before you suggest PWD do this work you take a look at the quality of buildings they have constructed or maintained (not just project managed or designed). It normally takes more to remedy the defects and shoddy workmanship than it would have been to use the private sector in the first place.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again…no money to educate of most precious assets (our children) but we still going to do the new cargo dock in East End, new dock in George Town harbour and $9mil hurricane shelter in Cayman Brac. Well I have seen it all, for a country that is broke seems like a lot of money is been waste on projects that are not needed right now.

    2013 cant come soon enough to get rid of Mac and his goonies

  15. anonymous says:

    I guess this is as a result of the nationwide criticizm of Julie’s wasteful spending in the Brac.

  16. John Champion says:

    My question for the government.

    Have you actively tried to find a "partner" for the Frank Sound Campus?

    You know you do not have the resources to finish it, but there are many institutions overseas that would leap at an opportunity to have a presence here.

    Get creative (not a licence for greed and backhanders) and invite some of these institutions to consider setting up shop down here. Imagine a world-class:-

    1. Agricultural facility

    2. Engineering school

    3. Medical college

    4. Sports program

    5. Marine conservation centre

    6. Construction technology centre

    7. Wellness and recuperation center

    8. Alternative energy program

    No, you probably cannot imagine these things which is why you will continue to churn out bankers, lawyers, brokers, insurance agents, accountants and other parasitic careers that do no good for the long term future of these islands.

    Be careful. Money is a potent drug. If things continue to go the way they are, we will lose all credibility with honest external investors and become a banana republic that will only attract rotten money.

    • Q says:

      No offense to bankers, lawyers, brokers, insurance agents, accountants and others in parasitic careers.

      • anonymous says:

        You left out the RealEstate Brokers. They are the ones that rob and pillage their own Caymanian Agents who are left to starve and can’t even  pay their children tuition in school. When a Caymanianian Real Estate Broker steals from his Caymanianian Agent who is trying to thel him make an honest dollar they say  " its like taking candy from a baby"!

        I inow a crooked real estate agent who used to pretend like he was the female agent he had in his employ, trying to steal the deals the poor lady was struggling to put through.

        They are the worst!

    • Lyp O'Sucshean says:

      Yes, we will regain that credibility back by suggesting that our investors don’t use lawyers to paper their deals and instead offer them the services of someone on a "sports program".

      I can just imagine it.  "Rather than this master-feeder structure why don’t you try using the 4-5-1 formation".