Schools’ bill rises to $197M

| 13/03/2012

clifton hunter (239x300).jpg(CNS): The minister for education told Finance Committee on Tuesday that the final bill to finish both of the high schools would eventually total around $197 milllion. Appearing before his legislative colleagues to ask for an increase in cash for his ministry for this financial year, Rolston Anglin revealed that the final cost to the public purse for Clifton Hunter would be over $99.5 million, while the total for John Grey, which will not be finished until next year, would be $97.4 million. Most of this expenditure has occurred during his tenure and means the schools are now double the cost of the original contract signed by the previous minister. The PPM had signed a contract with Tom Jones International (TJI) to do both schools for just over $114 million.

Answering questions regarding the need to increase his ministry's budget by some $16 million, he said that when he took up the post of minister in May 2009, only $50 million had been spent in total across both school project sites. Currently the costs for Clifton Hunter alone have surpassed $87 million and the bill so far for John Grey, where the work has been considerably reduced in order to phase its development, stands at around $54 million.

TJI, the original general contractor, walked off the job in November 2009 as a result of a dispute with government over payments and the projects were then stalled for almost a year before a new general contractor was employed.

The minister acknowledged that the school costs have now ballooned from the original contract costs of around $58 million for John Grey and some $56 million for Clifton Hunter as he said that the original contract with TJI was only for construction costs and not for architect and consultancy fees or fixtures and fittings, all of which still had to be paid for.

Anglin claimed that he found no plans in place for raising revenue to pay for the schools. “The projects were always going to be completed through massive borrowings,” the minister told the committee.

Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin, who was education minister when TJI was contracted to build the schools, said that when the audits were finally done, the country would come to see what had really happened to result in the “significantly inflated final costs” when compared to the original contract, and he asked what had caused the inflation.

Anglin admitted that the current growing bill included design changes that had been incurred since TJI walked off the project and under the new contractor and as a result of his policies. However, he said, a lot of the additional costs were accounted for as a result of shoddy work by that original contractor.

He said that only $4 million had been given as a bond on each school, which wasn't enough for government to be able to claim compensation for the work that was being re-done. As “the company doesn't appear to have money, there is no point in government trying to sue for costs,” Anglin said about the poor work. He stated that the repairs had been done but everything that was wrong had been documented and the ministry had a full record of the poor standard of work.

He said that some of the change orders which formed part of the dispute between government and TJI, to the tune of $17 million, had been paid but others remained in dispute.

Anglin said there had been “many problems” regarding the original general contractor and the dispute but TJI and government would be taking part in an arbitration hearing some time this summer in an effort to deal with the main issue, which was still the original claim by Tom Jones that the Cayman government had not paid cleared invoices, a position the minister said was disputed. He explained that the core of the law suit had always been over the certified payments and the reasons why the contractor walked off the job. TJI has never claimed any damages regarding loss of earnings or profit after losing the contract, Anglin told the committee.

Following the discussions among committee members, the committee approved, among other appropriations, $14.5 million in transfer payments to the ministry, most of which, Anglin said, would be spent on the schools this financial year. Despite the financial difficulties of government, the minister said he was pressing ahead to ensure that the Clifton Hunter campus was completed by this summer and that the students would be in the school for the start of the next academic year. He also stated that the hurricane shelter at the site would be in use for this season.

The minister further revealed that the renovations and enhancements to several of the country's primary schools and an additional building at Cayman Brac's high School had cost just over $11 million.

Category: Politics

Comments (117)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If they would stop wasting UNNECESSARY money by paying these MLA's thousands of dollars a month and spend it on real things like these schools, we wouldnt have this problem. The gov needs  give the LOCAL construstion companies the job to bulid our schools and hire LOCAL TEACHERS  and stop SHUTING LOCALS  DOWN. HOW IN THE HECK CAYMAN GOV CAN PROVIDE AIRFARE, AND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR FOREIGN TEACHERS ANY PAY THEM DOULE OR MORE BUT REFUSE TO HIRE OUR OWN PEOPLE.???????!!!!

    I have applied to our cayman gov as a teachers aide and did not get hired because i have no experience.

    explain to me, how can i gain experience if my OWN COUNTRY WON'T HIRE ME WHEN I AM A CERTIFIED TEACHERS AIDE?????

    This all comes back to these schools…..foreign construction company, and foreign teachers……

    SEE THE TREND

     

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    How I wish somebody would educate the UDP, particularly Ellio Solomon, in regards to their childish snickering while delivering their snide and ridiculous criticisms over the air. You people have no idea how uneducated and sick this comes across to the entire world. Would you guys please finally GROW UP and act just one little bit like government officials for your own sakes if for nobody else's?  

  3. Anonymous says:

    I understand that UCCI needs significant improvement but to get to college you have to go through high school first.  My point is start with the basics, our kids need to come out of high school willing and ready to take on the world. With a global view, they need to have the education and the opportunities to pick choose and refuse.  Yes we need trade schools etc but again, if our kids aren't getting the basics opportunities at the high school level then there's no point.  So I guess we can all agree that from middle school up we need to get our act together.  In the end it's our future that will suffer if the foundation isn't set right. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 10;27

       I totally agree with you. All of our children need a proper education. I would hope that the author of these negative comments are focussing on all level of education for their children.

      Example; assist them with their homework every evening, a balance breakfast, and proper discipline plan. No games…no play untill  homework and chores are done. Do a survey and see really how many of these parents follow the golden rules. Many of them need to be disciplined themselves.

      Then they spew out hatred for our education ministers and teachers.Get your all shit together,  and do your part, the authorities can only do so much. Let us halt the illiteracy in our country.

  4. Anonymous says:

    so much for the coalition of caymanian contractors…… they make tji look like saints….

    • Bob the Builder says:

      And when we pointed this out at the time, we were called racist.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am not find of alot of things this current government has done- but the PPM needs to be accountable to the country for this fiasco. Roy Bodden built a primary school for just around $15 million……it behoves me why Alden and Angela had to go out a tamrind limb and create hese 2 monstrosities that cant seem to get completed. I guess we should name them after Alden and Angela and put the exact dollar figure that it costed the country to finish the 2 projects under their names. The stupidity, ego and self serving politicians of today is pathetic!!! The politicians of past like Mr. Ormond, Mr. Willie, Mr. Warren,, Capt. Charles, Mr. CLaude, Mr. Berkley, Mr. Trevor  and the list goes on,must be rolling over in their blessed and sacred places of rest.

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM has already had much criticism for its mishandling of this. However, the UDP must now also be accountable for its failures in relation to this project. Costs have ballooned under Mr. Anglin's tenure as Minister. It is no longer just about Alden and Angela.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Problem #1: This project was definately to give work to small companies – negating all concerns/recommendation for maintaining quality and staying within budget.  Iwonder if there was risk assessments made of the decision to use the small contractors otherwise I'm sure red flags would have been raised.

    Problem #2: Who was signing these design fee change orders on behalf of the ministry? Thats the root of this problem. Noone who is in charge in the ministry has the foundation knowledge of project management or ELSE there would have been more value engineering done from DAY 1 that TJI & Prakash Nair (The god of all school designers according to Alden) was signed on.  Minister Rolston this is the main issue and the blame stops here.  If you dont want to accept this as the truth ask your dear friends at DART that have experience as developers and know when to tell the architects/designers of pretty colours, fancy wall panels that they are going over board.  Ask them or better yet next time ensure that internal project managers are qualified to plan, execute, monitor & control all aspects of such large capital projects.  The blame stops here. 

    **most persons that have had the experience of building a home would know that if they can only afford PGT Windows that regardless of what their architect or builder recommends such as higher grade they wont buy it or install it; simply because it cannot be afforded.  In this case when the architects came up with elaborate ideas from what I hear the schools have expensive material someone in the ministry should have said "STOP! we cannot afford this- come again!"    Look at Prep School – small private school with high tuition fees.  I'm sure they could have afforded to build something more elaborate of an extension than they did last year.  But they were smart. Ask their construction managers.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think its honestly BS, the school in Frank Sound in my opinion is not needed. What is wrong with John Gray and the Middle Schools absolutely nothing!! All they need was a little fix up. Why seperate these kids? How will they make friends with kids from town and west bay. Im sure in future it'll form some sort of gang or something simply because they dont know each other, as if we need anymore gangs.

    These MLA folks know nothing!! Cayman is being run by a bunch of caged monkeys.

  8. Anon : ) says:

    200,000,000 in others TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS…

    You wanted a Two-Party System, and keep voting for party candidates well you got what you deserve, Cayman!

  9. Knot S Smart says:

    It seems to me like somewhere along the lines we got scammed!

    I know about construction costs and those schools would not cost more than $10 million each if they were beingbuilt by a private investor!

    • Anonymous says:

      Knot, not saying that they should cost $100m a piece but bear in mind that these were not just schools but also hurricane shelters and a venue for community activities. Very unlikely that you could do that for $10m. That is the cost of one office building these days.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Schools everywhere are used for community activities and as disaster shelters. There's nothing special about this. The cost is crazy.

        • Anonymous says:

          Don't be stupid. There is a difference between merely using a school as a hurricane shelter and having one built for the purpose. In Hurricane Ivan some structures used as shelters lost their roofs and were quite useless.

          • Anonymous says:

            Stupid? Excuse me, but the fact that you had structures that were damaged in Ivan doesn't mean anything. Plenty of places have built schools to withstand hurricanes. The problem is that when you get around to doing it, you do it for $1000 per square foot.

            • Anonymous says:

              In Cayman expensive is better because it funnels money from government into the construction business. The electorate doesn't feel the cost except through high prices which are blamed on a variety of greedy businessmen. The real business of Cayman is government and government spending.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bull crap they did not have to be the size they are,there ate other facilities that serve as hurricane shelters. Frank sound school and it’s immense size could cater to 5 thousand students and between them and east end it may not even be 2,000 you talking about over stretching by the previous admin. I still say and let the people continue to say shame on the PPM for this disastrous situation they put us all into. Shame shame.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Somewhere along the lines"? I think "every day of our lives" is more like it, my friend.

  10. Chris says:

    Much of the increased cost is as a result of Minister Anglin's decision to use small works contractors who do not have the infrastructure or efficiency to compete with large companies such as McAlpine and Arch and Godfrey. Small works contractors doing 8 to 12 weeks of work at a time on this project hardly have enough time to get over the learning curve in order for their workers  to get in a groove and become efficient.

    Not to mention there is much more shoddy construction work provided by these small works contractors than the Minister could ever blame on Tom Jones International! 

    Look around the island and see that most private sector large scale projects use large contractors. Watercolours, Appleby, Oceana, Willow House in Cricket Square etc. There is even a stark difference between the efficiency of the new Government Building and the addition to George Town primary which didnt have such huge cost overruns when compared to the inefficiency at Clifton Hunter and John Gray.

    It is obvious that the difference is the use of a large experienced general contractor who could have completed the job much quicker and more efficiently than the small works contractors.

    Minister Anglin would be better off admitting that this was a huge social project aimed at bolstering employment in the depressed construction sector instead of an efficient construction project aimed at rolling out top class education for our children in a timely manner.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I would love to know the total square-footage that is being bought for almost 200 million dollars. I wouldn't be surprised if the cost of these schools p.s.f. is above that of many marble-clad homes in Crystal Harbour or elsewhere. Anyone got the facts?

    • Anonymous says:

      102,430 Sq/ft for Clifton Hunter

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you 15.09. So when Clifton Hunter is actually finished, it will have cost at least $1,000 psf. I think my house, which is top-of-the-line construction, with half-inch-thick quadruple laminate hurricane-proof windows, standing-seam roofs, calibre-50-rifle-proof walls,  Yves St Laurent designed door hinges with the Versace door-handles, (satire) is insured at full replacement cost of $375 psf. And that's just the building itself. The mind quails and shrinks at such profligacy and wanton spending of other people's money…………

         

      • Anonymous says:

        it's actually just above 143,000 sq. ft.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Rollie: The new 197million-dollar man

  13. EYE ON THE ISLAND says:

    All this from the PARTY that "DON"T NEED EDUCATION".

    UPD "WE DON"T NEED EDUCATION". Strait out of the mouth

    of the Party leader.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Mr Anglin

    The inappropriate over use of exclamation points in your comment distracts from the message you are trying to relay. You are the Minister of Education – surely you should be able to punctuate properly?

  15. Like It Is says:

    Isn't the best way of looking at this that the last administration were awful at governing because they seemed to spend money like confetti and acheived very little, the current lot are awful because they waste money too and everything reeks of cronyism and at time the smell of improper behaviour, and the only sensible way forward is to say "No" to them both and elect a suite on young modern businessmen to get this nation going forward?

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately the young modern businessmen are busy making money and consider that they would rather have a higher income, privacy, and their integrity and motives not subject to the opinions of the uneducated. 

      • Anonymous says:

        you are so right! those that anxiously hang on to the power base should be viewed with as much suspicion as we view our politicians.  They are more self motivated than motivated by God or Country.

        • Turtle's Heado says:

          Since I am an atheist who does not think Cayman is a country, I think that lack of motivation is perfectly understandable.

    • Anonymous says:

      A suite of young businessmen, with no proven and tried competence only that they are young is the credential you seek, no political acumen, no education in policy making just young modern business men. Hmmm lalalalala where are going from here. Let us think carefully .

  16. Rolston Anglin says:

    Dear CNS Editor/Readers:

    I have read this article with great interest! Unfortunately it creates confusion and does not reflect what was said in Finance Committee. I have ignored these sorts of inaccuracies in the past but feel obliged to correct those in this current article!

    Let me correct the inaccuracies:

    Paragraph 1 states that “the PPM signed contracts with Tom Jones International (“TJI”) to do both schools for jut over $100 million.” This is simply inaccurate and runs contrary to what I said in my testimony to the Finance Committee! The construction contracts signed were for $120 million and they were for just that, construction only!!! The contracts did NOT include:

    1 – architecture fees,
    2 – project management fees,
    3 – quantity surveying fees,
    4 – site works costs,
    5 – furniture, fixtures and equipment costs and
    6 – other consultancy fees

    I made this clear today in my testimony to the Finance Committee and have done so many, many times over the past three years in and out of the Legislative Assembly. I simply cannot believe that a member of the press could sit there today and produce such inaccurate information!

    Paragraph 4 goes onto state that I acknowledged that the contract costs had now ballooned from the original contract sums! This again is NOT accurate!!! The original contracts simply did not include at least 5 very costly items as outlined above! These are the items that Ms Ledger has and the PPM continually overlooks that have driven up the costs of these schools.

    The article throws out the usualred herring that the PPM mentions which is that my design changes causing increases in costs. This again is simply unfounded!

    I made changes because the schools had design concepts that our teachers and administrators told me they did not support and never agreed to. I listened carefully and took advice from them. This is what any sensible minister should do. Two examples of these were separating art and science teaching areas or the so called Divinci Studios. Can you imagine science lessons being conducted in the same spaces as art and the massive distractions this would have caused? Another was the open space learning where additional sound dampening systems have been installed instead of leaving our children in wide open areas only separated by furniture. Can you imagine the anarchy that would have reigned as teachers were all trying to conduct classes and the only separation was furniture. I gave teachers and the technical staff a voice and they looked out for the interest of our children!

    Please note that I have issued Parliamentary Statements and other public statements on this matter. Those can be found on http://www.cila.ky

    The article then confused the change orders and claims that I found when I took office. These amounted to some $17.5 million. This again would have been costs which were potentially in addition to the original contract sum of $120 signed by the PPM.

    In summary the PPM signed construction contracts with Tom Jones for $120 million. When I took office there were already claims of $17.5 million with Clifton Hunter only 12, and John Gray only 8 months started. The contracts with Tom Jones did NOT include architecture, project management, quantity surveying, site works and furniture, fixtures and equipment. Drive by the Clifton Hunter School at Frank Sound and just guestimate how much these will be for that project alone! Then consider this also needs to be done for John Gray!

    Finally I committed to the Finance Committee to give an update on the actual costs incurred broken down by construction, architecture, project management, quantity surveying, site works, furniture, fixtures and equipment, rework and any changes made by me as minister. I will make that information public once it is sent to the Finance Committee as I have committed.

    I have nothing to hide. I have made the very best of an absolute financial mess created by Mr Alden Mclaughlin and the PPM. Read his interview in the most recent Cayman Journal where he is finally coming out of his state of denial about the mess he left in this ministry and by extension government finances.

    I hope this clarification is helpful to the CNS Editor and readers.

    Regards,

    Rolston Anglin
    Minister of Education

    • Anonymous says:

      the shambolic incomptence shown over the last 3 years by the udp is the only FACT we know!

    • Anonymous says:

      Now of course it's the PPM's fault that the UDP have doubled the cost of the schools. Well I'll be…

    • Anonymous says:

      Looks like the Minister is about to throw his toys out of the pram.

    • Anonymous says:

      There appears to be some obfuscation going on.

      Clearly the TJI contract price did not include "architecture, project management, quantity surveying, site works and furniture, fixtures and equipment" since TJI are not architects, project managers, quantity surveyors of merchants of furniture and equipment.  Clearly the site works and architecture fees would have been incurred before any construction costs and cannot be a recent item. Yet you state it is these items that have driven up the costs of the schools and therefore the additional $77m that your govt. is spending is comprised of these items. High costs on project management are being incurred because you have chosen to terminate the contract with TJI and to have many contracts with small contractors. There may well be additional monies to be paid to TJI as a result of your actions that are not accounted for in the $197m. Your decision to delay the construction of the schools has itself added significant costs. Your change orders have added costs. What we need is a proper audit so that these are quantified according to category and this shifting of blame and spin-doctoring among politicians does not continue.            

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, as a matter of fact, I can imagine science and art lessons being conducted in the same space.  It doesn't take a great deal of imagination, really.  Integrated approaches to lessons are becoming more commonplace in schools all over the world, and there are convincing reasons to believe that transdisciplinary approaches toscience, technology and the arts are what our students need now.  

      As a teacher, I can appreciate that today's young people will need to call on new ways of thinking — thinking that makes use of all their intellectual and creative resources at once — if they are to imagine, and then build, a better world for themselves.  As a parent, I am disappointed that instead of an inspiring and exciting new approach to teaching and learning, my children will be subject to more of the same, tired methods — methods, incidentally, that are demonstrably failing children here and elsewhere.  

       

       

    • Anonymous says:

      You might be/have been better received if you had just left the PPM blame out of it. Everyone's to blame. No one had experience, conducted proper research with complete transparity thoughout.  Before we just wanted answers. Now we just want you all to keep your mouth closed, show a little compassion for collective error and leave.  I hope my generation steps up soon because you all are a disgrace. (24 y.o.).

    • Anonymous says:

      Apple has recently been crowned again as the most valuable company in the world, and is consistently on the world's top 25 list.  Ask them about the importance of art in technology.

    • Profound Reality! says:

      Your "best" is a far shot from success. Four years sir!, four years is what you took and did nothing with, the blame game is not good enough.PPM/UDP, you all represent clumsy, greedy failure.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      If that is all true, why are you continuing to embellish Clifton Hunter with hand built cut stone walls and royal palms.

      • Anonymous says:

        And flag poles – 3 beautiful tall ones with globes on the top.  What a waste of money.

    • The philosopher says:

      Dear Rolston 

       

      Try curbing  your ego and listen to people that know about cost of construction etc. You 

      like Aldin were intent on doing what you did, come hell or high water!  Instead of consul-ting with someone who is knowledgeable in the design & construction industry, you listen to teachers who  know little or nothing about school design, but you wanted to show Alden and the PPM how smart you were.  Guess what you are not looking "WERY" smart. So thanks to both of you we now have this Dinosaur of a building and I predict that there will be more dumb excuses forth-coming when the building is not completed by the beginning of the next school year. Here is some good advise to all you politicians! "TRY A LITTLE HUMILITY" you might find that it's very good for the EGO!!!! 

    • Pokiman says:

      Is it true that these buildings will cost something like $625 per square foot?

      WOW!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why dont they relocate the schools into the new government building? It wouldn’t hurt to see civil servants and children of cayman actually learn something, would it?

  18. Dred says:

    So let me get this right now.

    UDP lambasted PPM for the schools saying it is them who has overspent the countries monies on these schools. Now this? So shall we start the LAMBASTING OF UDP?

    I am waiting for how they plan to pin the extra 100 million on PPM because hell you know its coming.

    – Cohen and Cohen

    – GLF

    – Schools

    – Extravagant travel all over the globe

    – Private security, maid and god knows what else

    – Abuse of powers of the LA in the abude of the 21 day rule

    – Pandering to the DART group to sell off the countries assets so he can waste more money.

    Here's my take on this situation we are in now. Pay your bills, do no more plans, schemes and that includes but is not limited to:

    ForDart Alliance

    Let's support the Chinese and screw over the Cayman Islands future Cruise Berthing

    LEAVE. Don't look back JUST LEAVE!!!

    Left to me I would fire even your dog.

    Go Get out!!! 

  19. Anonymous says:

    It's the UDP slogan: With Us You Get Less For More! What incompetence. 

  20. Anonymous says:

    Just name them ‘K Dart High School’ problem solved!

    • Anonymous says:

      I doubt very much that K. Dart would want his name attached to these schools.  He managed to build a first-class facility, on time and on budget, for a lot less than is being spent here.

  21. Anonymous says:

    1 plus 1 equals 2, Right?

  22. Anonymous says:

    We HAVE to finish those schools regardless of cost Cayman. How on earth else are we going to educate poor McKeeva?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is paying very dearly for McKeeva's education.

  24. Anonymous says:

    What are the cost consultants saying about these overruns Mr. Minister?

    Do you think they might be wondering if it might not have been better to follow the contract and pay TJI what they were entitled to for the changed work, but leaving them to rectify the allegedly “shoddy” work?

    I bet they just keep on sending in the fee notes, and keep their heads down below the parapet!

  25. Anonymous says:

    the incompetence from both parties is mind boggling. I think it is time the FCO stepped in, completed a full audit – both economically and ethically as to the past leaders and held fresh elections with new blood uncorrupted from the passages of time. There is a storm gathering on the horizon, it’s only a matter of time before our so called leaders go scurrying for shelter! 

  26. Mawga says:

    I don’t get why gov splurging so much money into two new high schools when the country still lack a top notch accredited university offering a diverse choice of degrees along with a good trade school for our people. It’s baffling that these politicians can’t see that it’s the quality of education offered in cayman that needs improvement and where the millions should have been invested instead of overpriced buildings. For the money wasted into these two high schools could have built a proper trade school, brought UCCI on par with other international universities including improved facilities along with improving the John Gray campus and poor standard of education offered there.

    Sorry to say but it’s clear that our leaders are either clueless or refuse to address the real issues with our education system.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am convinced that physical improvements to UCCI and accreditation will never happen. There has been talk of this for over 8 years and still nothing!

      • Anonymous says:

        I know they are trying to fix the smell of mold, if they can't do that, maybe they can at least find some expat faulty member to scapegoat there problems.

  27. Anonymous says:

    That is a scandalous amount of money for a couple of schools. Where has all the money gone? How on earth do the politicians justify that kind of public spending? Disgraceful.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians, do you realise that, if the UDP did nothing at all in their administration re working on these schools, that the projected cost would still be 100 million?

     

    It is thru the UDP's intervention in the contracts and design that the costs have now doubled.

  29. Anonymous says:

    "200 million " if we dont have the smartest kids in the world after this  i say what a waste !

  30. Anonymous says:

    Bottom line… Schools are failing because of the complete lack of leadership that is in place. No amount of money will buy our children a proper core foundation.

    A minister who isn’t an educator and the people he has below him at best only have experience that doesn’t fit the bill. We need people in place that will get the job done and stop pretending that they are succeeding by covering everything up.

    So let’s all see how they spin this one. Inflation? Blame it on PPM?

    Sorry guys, gigs up!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Double the cost of the PPM arrangement, so not smart!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Reidickqlas!!!!!

  33. anonymous says:

    Its clear that these buildings should now be sold to a university. The John Gray one can go to the UCCI as they are land trapped now and the other to St Mathews or Shetty for their medical school.

  34. Anonymous says:

    So that means at least $400million when its ready for occupancy right?  By then will Cayman be able to afford to pay for teachers?

  35. Anonymous says:

    These schools were ridiculous from day one. Unfortunately the UDP tried to complete what was started wrong and have now taken ownership of Alden's problem.  Just look at all that concrete beams that do nothing, the buildings up in the air for nothing, the spread out buildings, etc. Most visitors see them and think its a university.

    As they would say in Jamaica …."wha' start bad a mawning, can't come good a evenin'"

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes but they have made it a lot worse by changing contractors and changing design.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention:

       

      The concrete sidewalks 2 – 3 ft above road level – why not just go with gravel walkways for now?

       

      The concrete, yes concrete corridors (i.e. concrete floor, concrete posts, and concrete roofs) for students to walk from one class to the other – what was wrong with the timber roofs and metal posts that we grew up with?

       

      Total waste of money under Anglin's watch!

      • Anonymous says:

        Timber roofs and metal posts would not make a good hurricane shelter.

        • Anonymous says:

          I wasnt talking about the buildings themselves.

           

          Take a look at the CITN clip entitled "Government needs more money" from last night and half way thru you will see the concrete corridors I speak of.

           

           

  36. Anonymous says:

    Good, can now we get our Premier and some UDP members to attend one of them?

  37. Anonymous says:

    Seeing as how UDP made so much of the overspending by PPM on the schools it seems that they have killed shot themselves in the foot. They refused to pay an extra $17m to TJI but have ended up having to pay an extra $100m for lesser facilities. It is now a case of pots and kettles.

  38. Anonymous says:

    not surprised…pretty typical considering the incomptence of all those involved for the cayman islands government……

     

    wonder what governor taylor thinks?????….or does he care?

  39. Loopy Lou says:

    The single best thing to help the education of Caymanians would be to allow expat chidlren to study at the same schools – this would bring in a higher number of tertiary educated middle class parents which is one of the main factors in improving a school's performance.

    • CSI says:

      You are absolutely correct.  Unfortunately, the government schools are failing to such a colossal degree that most of the expats would take any steps possible to ensure their kids don' t attend.  It would take years for any significant change to take place.  Still, it's the best thing that could happen to government schools on the island.

    • Anonymous says:

      It would do no such thing. Tertiary educated, middle class expat parents would continue to send their children to private schools because theycan afford it. We could instead expect lower income less well-educated expat parents to send their children to the government schools. The quality might actually be worse than at present. 

  40. Whodatis says:

    Ridiculous.

    Seems as if this project is our equivalent of the UK's "Millenium Dome". Hopefully it too won't ultimately become an over-glorified concert hall.

    In any event it was foolish to believe that a grandiose structure would be the solution to an apparently failing education system in the first place. (Which by the way is an issue common to virtually every 'great' western society today.)

    The true issues underlying this phenomenon is not really that difficult to pinpoint but it is politically incorrect to address so I won't go there. People tend to be offended by harsh yet simple truths today.

    All I know is that there is something seriously wrong when one can confidently state that the previous (to mine) generation was better educated (at the grade school level) than many of our youngsters today. Considering the quality of life back then compared to today's this is truly a tragedy of epic regression.

    Again – this is not a situation unique to the Cayman Islands. Do the research.

    However, it is what it is – we now have no choice but to trudge onwards with the over-priced structures.

    • YOW!! SCRATCH !! says:

      What I cannot understand is why?? did the PPM put the country in this debt, knowing full well it could not finish.  We have been suffering ever since, and with all the contracts that was signed I cannot see how the UDP can finish all these schools the PPM started without all of us going under.  Shame on you PPM for doing this.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      With respect to whodatis this will continue to happen until you change the system to one man one vote. Until you get the individuals into office that will lead the country for the the people and not themselves. 

      It is time to stop complaining and demand thatthe petition be presented NOW to the Governor.

      Lachlan MacTavish

    • Anonymous says:

      For once, I agree with you, whodatis.  Schools like the one Anglin is now building are failing all over the world.  It really is unfortunate that he lacked the vision to embrace change, and to convince our educators to do the same.

  41. noname says:

    cig should have required an appropriate performance bond!!!
    what a travesty that those in charge at the time chose not to
    follow standard operating procedure for a major contruction
    project….
    shame on cig for not listening to the advise they were given re the bond prior to signing contract with TJ.

    • Anonymous says:

      But the issue isn't TJ now. They have changed contractors and the prices have doubled.

      • Anonymous says:

        the issue is why the ministy of education
        of the day refused to require (against professional
        advise) to demand tji post a bond tocover value
        of work. had they done as advised a new contractor
        would have been paid for by the surety and not cig.
        those administrators of the day should be held accountable
        and investigated by th ag………a full audit of these projects
        starting with contract nevotiations should be instituted. starting with an foi request for all
        documents relating to terms and conditions od the
        original contract and why the recommendations of the professionals
        were disregarded/rejected by education… so now
        costs have doubled and no recourse now xcept for cig to pick
        up the tab….

        • Anonymous says:

          Obviously you are trying to confuse the issue and spin this to blame the PPM for the UDP screw up.  

          All of that assumes that it was TJI that was in breach of the contract rather that CIG. Apparently it is quite the opposite so a performance bond from TJI would not help this situation at all. CIG may have more costs to pay in damages to TJI.  This is now about the incompetence of the present govt. who claimed it was saving costs by re-designing the school. No amount of spin is going to change that. 

        • Anonymous says:

          CIG was never in a position to demand a 100% performance bond. An Owner has to have a good payment history and be able to post a 100% payment bond to allow a good contractor and its insurance company to take on such a risk.

          CIG has a very bad reputation on payment with contractors and could not put up the cash. It still can’t.

          The contractor has the right to expect the contract to be properly administered. The risk the contractors took on in assuming CIG had the money and would manage the project fairly and properly was high enough.

          Underfunding and poor project management by CIG’s team were the reasons for the collapse of the original contracts. Those original conditons were PPM’s fault for they chose to proceed when it was obvious that the design was way over budget and/or the cost consultants had got their sums wrong.

          The failure to do better and make smarter choices these last three years once those earlier errors were exposed is UDP’s fault.

          • Iwahdere says:

            re the bond: McAlpine posted appropriate performance bond for goab. too, that was a design build contract..so as to avoid any problems .. such as those with school projects

            and yes, complete mismanagement by ministry from onset
            …… original project mgr couldnt manage the construction
            project …. he was let go early on, and not replaced for months…it was a mess ……
            …..and as problems emerged it took
            on a life of its own….. leaving us where we r today……
            time to move on …..

  42. Anonymous says:

    Can you imagine if we didn't have expats contributing to the building costs of these schools? Indeed, they contribute even though their children are not allowed to attend. Oh, but let me guess, they owe us, right?

     

    • Whodatis says:

      I am fairly confident that you will find that every Caymanian living abroad in the USA, UK and Europe are aslo "contributing to the building costs of their schools".

      In many cases their Caymanian kids are also "not allowed to attend".

      Just the way it goes at times.

      • Captain Obvious says:

        The big difference being, the children of Caymanians living abroad would be able to attend the schools they're paying for.

      • Anonymous says:

        Its OK.  In the UK and in the US there are many contractors who regularly do all their jobs on time and on budget without government intervention so a project isn't done Cayman style.  Allso the workers are much better educated and have gone through training to be able to do high quality work the first time.  It appears Cayman has a way to go to get to that level.  Hope the schools can do the job of raising the education level on island past the third world stage its in now at least for the ones who are "allowed" to attend.

      • Duh! says:

        First, can you specify which countries do not allow the children of Caymanians legally resident in the country to attend the public school system?  I bet you cannot – they certainly can in the UK and the US.  But if you are right then justify your comment – as it is it looks awfully like mere speculation to fit your preferred world view. 

        Second, thats "just the way it goes"? Really? So you agree its not right, but its ok because thats just the way it goes?  For a person who frequently opines on the unreasonable and unfair treatment of minorities and smaller nations by the powerful, I find that comment breathtakingly illogical and rank hypocrisy.  Come out with a line like that and dont be surprised if everytime you blog to complain about something you just get a "thats just the way it goes" response. 

        • Anonymous says:

          I can't vouch for all of Canada but I know that in Calgary, you only need to show a valid permanent residency card or work permit to enroll a child in government (public) schools.

        • Anonymous says:

          In the UK, US and Canada you pay direct taxes to fund public education for all and sundry. I doubt that we can afford to offer free education to non-Caymanian children unless we introduce new taxes. How about that – an education tax for all of those earning $100,000+ whether or not your children go to government schools. It would have to earmarked for education though.  

          • Anonymous says:

            Good idea. The private schools cost $10,000 a year in tuition fees so if the tax was set at $1,500 p.a. we should have at least 4,000 households which earn more than $100,000 p.a. 4,000 x 1,500 = $6m all earmarked for to provide free education at primary and secondary level. It wouldn't cover all the costs but it would cover the additional costs of having to provide free education to everyone.

          • Anonymous says:

            You miss the point.  You pay the tax and you have the option to send your kids there.  Here non Caymanians pay the indirect taxes thabut do not have the option – in the same way that they do not benefit from other social servcies like indigent healthcare.  

            • Anonymous says:

              No, you are missing the point. Obviously the indirect taxes that you pay cannot pay for free education for every school child. You are demanding govt. services that you get a high tax country. Bear in mind that Cayman would not have needed all of the new roads were it not for the expat population.  

            • Anonymous says:

              Looks like you missed the point. Read the post again.

    • Jackie Ebanks says:

      Useless comment……

      • Anonymous says:

        Not really. Caymanians need to learn nothing is for free and the debts / inefficiencies the government's are racking up just make this a more and more expensive jurisdiction to live / operate in. That's bad business for everyone.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Rolston what did you expect when you went ahead and changed everything from its original plans? You did not think that would cost double or more to change up everything? C'Mon man, fool some, but NOT all.  This Government are experts in wasting the people's money on their ideals.

  44. Anonymous says:

    So the UDP criticised the PPM for building schools that were too expensive, but when it took over government it breached the contract with the contractor so that it walked off the job, the Minister made design changes claiming that he was reducing costs, hired a new contractor which produced what the Minister himself has described as shoddy work and have doubled the price. Schools to 100m each. Wow!   

  45. Anonymous says:

    So TJI only wanted 17 million more for changes made by the ministry dof education to complete the schools on time.

    Now it has cost the island 80+ million more than the original contracts to complete just one school and have the other in sitting in limbo. All this 3 years after TJI was terminated.

    Gud edumacated decisions Minister Anglin

  46. Anonymous says:

    Just ridiculous. I don't believe any number or any explanation these guys come up with, but I do believe that they want to spend or have already spent another 90 Million for something that was not in the budget a few months ago. If they have spent an extra 90Million on these two schools, did any of that amount go to family, friends, cronies or luxury travel and if so how much?