Fireproof ceiling for $253M new St. George’s High School

destroyed in a fire, the Ministry of Education on Friday inked a $253M contract for the reconstruction of the St. George’s High School, which will include fireproof ceilings and ‘special’ doors for quick exits.

Measuring 209 feet by 70 feet, the two-storey structure was designed to accommodate between 300 to 400 students; it will be rebuilt at the same location between North and Church Streets.

It will include 12 classrooms, six laboratories, a canteen and fire prevention mechanisms, including fire escape stairs, fire alarms, limited timber usage, metal ceilings, and escape doors.

Delivering remarks before the signing of the contract, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand said that the ministry is keen on ensuring that every child could access a “high quality” secondary education.

The contract was inked with several contractors (Photo: Ministry of Education/June 9, 2023)

Already battling space constraints to accommodate students in Georgetown, Manickchand said the fires at schools over the past months have worsened the situation.

“We had serious space constraints that had not been addressed…We were really in a bad place in Georgetown for seats for students. So we really didn’t had enough, literally space…desks and benches for classrooms to fit the children who come to Georgetown,” Manickchand said.

Based on the advice of engineers, Manickchand said the school was designed in a way to allow several contractors to work simultaneously so that the structure can be ready at the fastest possible time.

The new St. George’s High School is expected to be completed between five to seven months.  The project will be executed in six lots by different contractors as listed below:

Lot 1- Construction of Super Structure- BM Property Investment Inc- $113,943,900

Lot 2- Block Works- BM Property Investment Inc-$59,989,500

Lot 3- Plumbing Works- A. Ograsein & Sons General Contracting-$9,651,970

Lot 4- Electrical Works- Cummings Electrical Company Ltd-$$18,720,592

Lot 5- External Works- Superior Supplies & General Construction-$$22,472,560

Lot 6- Finishing Works- Superior Supplies & General Construction-$29,052,600

Manickchand warned the contractors that they are likely to face consequences if they fail to meet the project deadline.

“You won this (project) through a fair process. You said to us that you can build this in this time for this amount. If you know you can’t do it, don’t sign these contracts today because in as much as we want this done…if you can’t get this done we will have to be firm in implementing the provisions of the contract for liquidation and other damages,” Manickchand contended.

She added, “I hope everybody…can understand their contracting obligations…You have a chance here now to say ‘well look Minister not this one’…If you are going to sign here, understand what your contracting obligations are,” she said.

A fire ripped through the St. George’s High School on July 20, 2022, displacing hundreds of students. An nvestigation later revealed that the fire was electrical in origin.