Kato Secondary defects still to be fixed

Georgetown, GINA, June 30, 2016

Kato Secondary School, in Region Eight is still undergoing remedial works to correct major structural defects that were found following the school’s construction.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, told the media at a post-cabinet press briefing at the Ministry of Presidency today, that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is still working along with the contractor to rectify the defects on the school.

“The contractor who was given the contract, has been called in and they are basically dealing with the Ministry of the Public Infrastructure now in relation to that contract, and several other contracts which that contractor has with the Ministry of Education,” Minister Harmon said.

Kares Engineering had won the contract for the construction of the school which when it opened its doors would have allowed for universal secondary education in the region.

Construction of the school started in 2013 under the previous administration and was scheduled to be opened in January 2016. This was delayed following the discovery of the defects. Minister Harmon told the media today that the administration “felt it was not safe to put children into that school.”

News of the defects in the structure of the school was first made public in January, during the consideration of the 2016 estimates and expenditure.

Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, responding to questions about the budgeted estimates of Region Eight, was questioned about the school’s opening. In responding, he told the House that this was being delayed due to flaws in the school and that these went beyond the construction of the complex to its design.

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, later revealed that a detailed assessment conducted by his Ministry had found that that the concrete work done by the contractor was found to be sound in only 10%, when tests by an independent consultant was carried out.

The Kato Secondary was initially billed at $780M but, the previous Government had later disclosed that the final tally could be about $1B.

The school was to be a modern institution which caters for 400 students, 250 of whom will be accommodated in the dormitory. The school also has an adjoining administrative block, teachers’ quarters, kitchen and sanitary facilities, and apart from the dozen classrooms, it also boasts computer and science laboratories, departments for industrial arts, home economics, visual arts and agriculture.

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