Schools still in legal dispute

| 03/10/2011

(CNS): Government and the former general contractor on the high school projects are still fighting out their dispute in the local courts. Answering questions posed by the opposition leader about the current situation regarding the development of the Clifton Hunter and John Gray High schools, Rolston Anglin said that the ministry was actively defending the claims by Tom Jones International and was seeking security of costs before the matter went further. He also revealed that since the UDP came to office, government had spent $75 million on the construction of the schools and that the latest project management contract had been extended and had increased by around $1.7 million from the original value of just over $2.2 million to more than $3.9 million.

Anglin said this increase in the value of the project management contract with Cayman Construction Management Services Ltd was as a result of various delays and procurement of new subcontractors and delays to the planned July completion date for the Clifton Hunter campus, which has now been pushed back to next February.

“The construction manager’s contract relates to the completion of the Clifton Hunter project and the completion of buildings 1, 3, 4C and 6 at the John Gray project, with options for additional services should these be required,” Anglin told the Legislative Assembly on Friday. He also stated that the contract was designed to be flexible in light of the uncertainty caused by the termination of the former general contractor.

He explained that the dispute between government and TJI related not to a breach of contract but related to two pay certificates under the AIA contract and the claim by TJI that these are outstanding is ongoing. The minister said that no date had been set for the hearing but he expected the case would take place early next year.

“In addition, in September 2010, Tom Jones International issued a notice to arbitrate certain other claims under the contracts,” Anglin told the House. “The arbitration, which will be conducted privately and will also involve the hearing of various counterclaims by the government, has not yet been progressed by Tom Jones International but is welcomed by the government as a forum in which the claims held by both parties can be resolved fully and finally.”

The minister said he could not elaborate further on the dispute because it was sub judice and the answer he had given for the opposition leader had been guided by the legal department.

Concern that there would be nowhere to feed students at Clifton Hunter after the minister hadredesigned the school to remove what had previously been described as luxury “gold plated kitchens” was also addressed when he said there would be a production kitchen on site to cater for meals and snacks but children would be eating within their school houses.

He said home economics lessons would take place in the production kitchen, which would be in the Design and Technology building. Anglin added that the modifications had cost $200,000, but as government had saved $750,000 to remove the commercial kitchens from the projects, there was no extra cost incurred.

The commercial kitchens had been part of the original design in the schools, not only to provide modern facilities to teach home economics but because the school campuses are also designed to be hurricane shelters where significant numbers of people may need to be fed in the event of a major storm.

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Comments (17)

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  1. Abacus User says:

    Deferring paying compensation until after litigation is the deferral of a payment in the last and this fiscal year.  Nothing more, nothing less.  The "budget surplus" is a joke.  The truth is terrifying.

  2. An on nymus says:

    We need Alden back as Leader and Minister of Education so that WE can get back on track. I would really appreciate some members of the UDP to vote THEIR concience and not the Leader paranoid ideas. Some of you must certainly cannot agree with everything that is going on. How does your family and friends feel. Please do not let our country down as you will have to continue living among us as our friend, neighbor or family member.

    • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

      Please tell me if I am missing something here: The UDP as backbenchers castigated The Hon Alden McLaughlin & the PPM, claiming that they were overspending on 3 schools and now we see that Rolston Anglin and the UDP are spending more on 1 school.

      This is total hyprocricy at its best.

      The only fault that people found reason to complain about the PPM was what the people thought was overspending on 3 schools and our much needed roads, but now not only do we find out the UDP are spending more on 1 school but the UDP are constantly surrounded by controversy, investigations and unnecessary overspending on home security, 1st class travel, personal chaffeurs, $9million on The Bluff Hilton, $10million friends give-aways, just to name a small fraction of the suspicious activities that has taken place since May 2009.

      Please give me back the PPM, at least we saw what the money was being spent on and there was no controversy.

      It does not surprise us that the few that still support UDP are the few that have cushy UDP jobs and drive real nice cars but don't seem to have jobs!

      • Anonymous says:

        Don't forget about the amounts spent on primary schools and "free babysitting" reception classes and rooms when they supposedly have no money.

  3. Anonymous9 says:

    The kitchens were a VERY good thought but I take exception that they would be used to feed many people during an evacuation situation. That means that you would be expecting hundreds of Caymanians seeking shelter in the event of a hurricane, empty handed of course!

    You should not be allowed into a shelter empty handed. You should be required to provide your own water and staples.

    Just another view to the entitlement mentality, eh!

    • anonymous says:

      The National Hurricane Conference indicated that using schools as hurricane shelters was a very bad idea for two reasons:


      1. Damage done to schools by persons staying there during and after hurricane.


      2. After hurricane the idea is to get everyone back to normal as quickly as possible. having people in schools afterwards meant the children could not get back to school, their parents then could not get back to work.


      Generally seen as a bad idea in first place. Not good enough reason to spend $1M on a kitchen.

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly why CLASSROOMS were not to be used as hurricane shelters, so that children CAN get back to class asap. Have a look at the school plans. The halls were to be used only.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dude – I guess you didnt spend time in a shelter during – and especially after – Ivan & Paloma!

      That service, with people's foods as well as items donated by damaged supermarkets (no electricity) was a lifesaver to many.

      Like so many people seem want to do – please dont criticize our culture  if you have not lived it…

      Plus, the ":ability" and freedom of non locals to so do, points to their own sense of "entitlement" – which they often use in reverse agaisnt us – Cheap Psychology guys..zzzzzzzz.

    • Anonymous says:

      It would be great if everyone was as smart as you and could plan ahead and bring something, but honestly what kind of person would you be to refuse another during a true crisis?    

      • so Anonymous says:

        A Smarter one?  One Who feeds his family first?  A responsible person? A person who has planned on feeding his family and himself in the future? A man who is not his brothers keeper? A Christian man?  But I guess NOT a "Caymanian" Christian who needs to give what he has and get from the Premeirs churce fund (which "takes" from everyone else anyway).  Just my opinion.

        • An on nymus says:

          Your food w3ill only last you 3-4 days ay yhe most, then what. you will be glad to get help. I wonder if you were here during and specially after Ivan and your place was destroyed and had to spend a few weeks. Don;t be so cold. Those persons that think that way are those we don't care having around us. Don't wish anyone to go through another Ivan or worse. your tune will change. scary to think we have such persons in our society. We were very prepared for our family but took in close to 50 persons whom had lost everything so …. Would you leave them behind ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmm. I'd have to agree with the original post. We all had plenty of warning that Ivan was headed our way as we do on all hurricanes. I guess the grocery shelves are empty from those that are not planning on going to a shelter?  

      I ended up in a shelter and many brought all the food they had. Plus water.

      It's called Hurricane Preparation!!!!!!

      Or you can always depend on the government to cover your a$$

    • Anonymous says:

      Your post makes no sense, the kitchens would have been a place to cook, why not assume that everyone will bring whatever they have instead of assuming that everyone will just turn up begging? We had friends who had bought supplies but were literally totally washed out of their homes and were lucky to escape with their lives. They had nothing to bring to eat even though they had prepared before the storm. I now make sure that I have enough for us and some others who may lose everything. I can afford to do that, a lot of people can't. Agreed that some people just take advantage of situations to beg or steal but not everyone does.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Alden's true legacy!!

  5. Married to a Caymanian says:

    If only a fraction of the money spent on schools (and now donations to churches) and always "contracts for cronies" was spent on saving our at-risk youth, we would not be riddled with a gang crimewave.

    Politicians, you ALL have done us wrong for over a decade.  You kept the poor down with promises of a better future while your GREED and false PRIDE filled your pockets.  Good ol Eastern Caribbean politricks at work…promise the world, fill your pockets, and deliver nothing.

    While the politicians pranced like roosters fighting over chicken-feed ** on both sides, the two-party system will be the end of us yet**  our youth ran amuck and now we have a gang culture and 15% unemployment???

    I'll never know why our C.I Govt did not just copy the successful and very economical plans of the new International School at Camana Bay.  It is an award wining design, works well, and  It was built for a fraction of the cost of this white-whale project.   Politicians egos got in the way.  Now get rid pf these parties and spend the money on police and getting to the next generation of thugs.  Again, "Books not bricks!"

  6. Anonymous says:

    Will students be protected from violence and intimidation on the school campus outside the school rooms as well? That is where some of the worst bullying occurs.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Aren't we spending just as much or more than the other party who was in power did to begin with. Amazing how things go. We need to stop running around in circles and get things in place for our children like the property that weare losing everyday.