Minister of Works and Utilities Alfred Sears yesterday reiterated that school repairs will be completed in time for the start of the school year on August 29.
Sears was responding to Free National Movement Chairman Dr. Duane Sands who said it will be almost “impossible” for the repairs to be completed in time.
“It will be done because that’s the commitment that we have made,” Sears said.
He said some of the work will be “cut back” because there is not sufficient time to complete it.
Sears said the contractors are working late into the night and on the weekends to complete the projects.
“I know the challenges that the Ministry (of Education) faces and the challenges have been compounded by the fact that for almost two years most of these plants have been closed down,” Sears said.
“There have been an extraordinary amount of structural defects and problems that had to be addressed.
“The minister of education has made it very clear that she would like for all of the schools to be ready for the 29th of August when the students come in and also for the 22nd when the teachers and administrators come in.”
Sears said the Ministry of Works’ architects, engineers and project coordinators have been “stretched” scoping hundreds of schools throughout the country.
There were structural issues at some schools, the minister previously said, adding that balconies, staircases and foundations had to be replaced.
The government budgeted $15 million for school repairs in the current budget.
While the scope of work for repairs have been significant, Sears was unable to indicate yesterday whether the project had gone over budget.