After being awarded the contract for the construction of the Technical Block at the Elmore Stoutt High School, Roy Garroway of Quality Construction was recently awarded another contract in excess of $4 million for the construction of the Jost Van Dyke Primary School.
Quality Constructions was awarded the contract valued at $4,333,743.86 in what Chief Executive Officer of the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) Anthony McMaster described as a competitive bid process. The government received six bids – one from St Lucia and five from the Virgin Islands
. McMaster said it was one of the most highly contested bidding processes.
“If I am not mistaken, the difference between first and second place was two points and the difference in cost was probably under thirty thousand dollars,” McMaster said.
Minister for Education Sharie de Castro expressed gratitude towards the people who continue to put interim measures in place to allow schools in the territory to function while the government works on the relevant steps to have permanent and safe school infrastructure.
“I want to say as we continue to pay keen and careful attention to the development of our schools in this territory. We understand our students are our most precious resource and as we seek to improve and strengthen our economy, the foundation of that is our education and our commitment is not only to the infrastructural development of schools but also to how we fix the curriculum,” de Castro said.
Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull said he was happy contracts were being signed for the construction of the school which he lobbied for since his entrance into representational politics back in 2015.
He also noted that Jost Van Dyke, along with Virgin Gorda and Anegada have long been neglected in terms of development and simply viewed as sister islands when they are an integral part of the Virgin Islands
Turnbull highlighted that on a previous occasion, the government had a contract signing for the development of a community centre but that did not come to fruition, this milestone is different and he vows to ensure its completion.
“This time around is about action, and it is about building a school that will be efficient and effective to serve the community of Jost Van Dyke. Not from a school setting but a community outreach programme like a resource centre capability it is going to be just that. I am glad this moment has come to a reality,” the Second District Representative said.
Meanwhile, Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has said the contract was possibly the biggest contract per student in the world for any form of development as the current Jost Van Dyke Primary School host approximately 22 students. He added the contract is a sign of significant development.
“We are building up for the children of Jost Van Dyke. We will be building for the future of Jost Van Dyke, for the good of the education system in the Virgin Islands
. Join us as we continue this journey of building. Join us as we continue our recovery and join us as we march forward in unity,” Premier Wheatley said.