Kato Secondary School remedial works Completed/Approved … Ministerial task force/experts give Thumbs Up to Contractor
(Georgetown July 20, 2017) The certificate of Practical Completion has taken effect as of Wednesday and shall be issued on Friday to the contractor for the Kato Secondary School complex.
This was announced by Hon. Minister Annette Ferguson at the site in region 8 following a tour of the facility by a Ministerial task force comprising officials from the Ministries of Public Infrastructure, Education and Indigenous Affairs on Wednesday. The inter-Ministries task force was charged with looking at the remedial works that were to be done to make the Complex usable for the coming September School term.
This site visit was a follow- up to one done a month ago, June 13. The Contractor is Kares Engineering; Vikab is the consulting firm tasked with ensuring that the remedial works are completed in a satisfactory manner after the construction began in 2012. Kares Engineering firm was contracted to construct the building and works began in 2012. However, the building was found to have defects during auditing of the project, resulting in construction being put on hold because of what was identified, followed up by remedial works. The school construction is valued at $728M while the consultancy is tapped at about $29m.
Ian Samaroo speaking for the consultant Vikab said the verification is to ensure that the project is substantially completed. “We had to focus on the progression of works we inspected about three weeks ago. On that occasion, we had identified some defects so this visit is to make sure that those identified were corrected. Originally when we visited the project we observed some superficial and structural defects which required correction before it can be occupied.
Those included incomplete electrical and plumbing works, in addition to water damage to concrete roof slabs. The timber flooring was also defective and was termite infested and the concrete first-floor corridor needed further investigation. Phillip Smith, the Ministry of Education consultant for the buildings unit, said it was fantastic to have the remedial works completed in such record time based on the damning reports originally received.”
Seremei Cayetano the on the ground representative of the Vikab consultancy said the contractors went in and did what they had to do professionally. “I believe that they were grossly misrepresented for this project and were very compliant and cooperative given the nature and challenges of the project, he said. PS Vibert Welch, Technical officer Tamika Barkoye and Mr Phillips Smith of the buildings division were also among the team
Radesh Rameshwar, engineer of Kares Engineers Inc. expressed gratitude to the Government for the opportunity given to remedy the defects identified. “We are grateful that we were given the process and a chance to correct what was perceived as major faults. Those are corrected and in record time. We were given the defects list by the consultant and we worked to correct those identified as well as other eventualities we found. We had a large work force that worked for 18hrs daily to complete. “The construction which was pegged at $728m is practically completed and ready to be occupied.
During a visit by previous Education Minister, Dr. Rupert Roopnarine, he promised the residents from Kato and other satellite communities that the school would be ready for a September opening and after being given the directive we seized the opportunity to solidify our relationship as responsible partners to make the promise a reality,” Rameshwar said. Anil Roberts, Principal Regional development officer of the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, said he is satisfied with the works and is happy that the remedial works have vastly improved the conditions for the benefit of the residents and other villages.
The specs include Fifty six (56) class rooms with a capacity to accommodate at least Thirty five (35) students per room, an auditorium, Four (4) communal dorms for students, four (4) self-contained matron quarters, 8 teachers’ quarters with two bedrooms each, an admin building, 34 toilet and urinal facilities, an Information Technology laboratory to accommodate fifteen (15) work stations. A transformer was also installed.
Clifton Pereira Toshao of Kaito with a broad smile of approval said, “I have seen a lot of improvement. The defects from the last time have been remedied and for the village, this is a much-needed move in the right direction where the children will benefit greatly. From what I have seen I believe that the complex is ready to be used for its intended purpose and on the behalf of residents of the region especially Kato we are grateful. We are now anxiously awaiting the September term. It will now end the hardship of the children having to go to region nine for schooling. We welcome it.”
Headley Pio, the Regional Vice Chairman of Region eight (8), said too that from the last inspection we had and based on our last report the conditions are vastly improved and I know it would benefit the other outlying villages, easing the hardship of having to go to Paramakatoi which is a three hours walk. It is ready to be opened right after the furniture and all other amenities are provided and installed.
Hopefully before the new school term.” The contractor has a contractual obligation of one year to fix any other defective issues that pop up and has promised that it would be done at no additional cost to Government. Also taking a tour of the facility were some residents and inbound students all of whom expressed elation that the works have “finally been completed at a more than satisfactory level.”