The Department of Economic Development will monitor the project to ensure timely delivery.
After a seven-year lull, construction on the Choiseul Secondary School located in La Fargue, is expected to recommence following the recent signing of a contractual agreement between the Government of Saint Lucia and FDL Consult Inc.
The process for the rehabilitation of the southern educational institution started in 2010 involving the then Ministry of Communications and Works, the school officials, and representatives of FDL Consult Inc. In 2011 two of the blocks were declared structurally unsound, and the decision to reconstruct them was taken.
The project is being undertaken through a tri-partite approach involving the Ministries of Infrastructure, the Department of Economic Development, and the Department of Education.
Minister for Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labour, Hon. Stephenson King, said this kind of approach signifies government’s commitment to critical projects requiring urgent attention.
“I can assure the children of Choiseul that this initiative will be brought to its full completion. Choiseul cannot be treated differently from any other school. Every school matters and deserves the kind of attention that is required to provide the best environment for education. Hence the reason why from the Ministry of Infrastructure, I have given a firm commitment to the department responsible for the renovation of schools, and those who normally engage in the technical aspect of the construction of schools, to give undivided attention particularly this year and beyond in as far as responding to the needs of secondary, primary, and other schools on the island.”
Jodi Fontenard of FDL Consult Inc. was present at the signing, and outlined the scope of the project which involves blocks B and C.
“The proposed re-enforced concrete buildings for blocks B and C comprise three stories each, with a combined floor area of approximately 2000 square meters, and a capacity to accommodate approximately 650 students,” she said. “The special arrangement of the buildings is as follows: block B, on the ground floor, will comprise a sick bay, resource room, technical drawing lab, and male washroom. The first floor will comprise an IT lab, EPDM lab, and one classroom; the second floor will comprise four classrooms. On block C, the ground floor will have a female washroom and three classrooms, which are designed with removable partitions, for easy conversion into an assembly hall. The first floor will have a music and theatre room, chemistry lab, prep room and physics lab. The second floor will have four classrooms.”
Ms. Fontenard said the design meets all the latest requirements for earthquake and hurricane resistant designs.
The Department of Economic Development said it is prepared to monitor all aspects of the project and to ensure its delivery within the specified timeframe.