Region seeking input in crafting solutions for collapsing $77M Rupununi school

Region Nine Chairman Wilson Laurentino yesterday said that the problems with the foundations of the $77.7 million Sand Creek Secondary School are ongoing although the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) has done remedial work on the school.

He said that the school in South Central Rupununi, which was built in 2012, shows signs of severe structural issues due to the poor building supplies used in its construction it. “The government builds and they don’t do it properly so when things start to fall apart then it is the RDC’s problem,” Laurentino told Stabroek News.

His statement came on the heels of PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee declaring yesterday morning that construction work was ongoing at the school. He said that one of the broken beams was repaired and that while there were signs of other structural problems, they would soon be addressed.

Rohee was speaking at the PPP weekly press conference at Freedom House, where he said, “There are other visible signs of structural defects. An urgent request was sent to Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education for an engineer from the Central Ministry to check on same.”

He also said that the opposition’s issues with the $77.7 million secondary school were misinformed. He said that opposition continuous tried to put negative spins on the “good efforts of the government and those who are making contributions to improvement our children’s education.”

But according to Laurentino, the RDC was not consulted when the school was commissioned and now that it is in a state of disrepair, the region is trying its best to resolve the issues. He said that the floor needed to be completely redone. “It is turning to dust. They used the savannah sand and not river sand, so the mixture was poor,” he observed.

Laurentino said that the Public Works and Education ministries have sent in personnel to assess the condition of the school in early February but to date no report was submitted to the RDC. As a result, “We had to go in a do things ourselves… there are lots of cracks, but the kids are now using the second floor.”

He told Stabroek News that the need to repair an essentially brand new school was frustrating, to say the least. Earlier in February, Laurentino had revealed that parents were withdrawing their children from the school because they feared the school might collapse due to structural issues.

Residents had told Stabroek News that the parents were extremely concerned. “They fear that the building is not strong and anytime it could collapse…. If it collapse, it’s a huge part of the building that could fall,” one of them had said.

Laurentino told Stabroek News that the RDC would like to be included in any ongoing investigations, while adding without consultation from the region’s works department, the two ministries were making uninformed decisions.

When contacted, Education Minister Priya Manickchand stated that an assessment was currently ongoing into the structural issues. She said that the ministry was aware of the deficiencies and they were being addressed.

Latest in Local News

Omar Shariff

Ministry of the Presidency official Shariff sent on leave pending SOCU investigation

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP), Omar Shariff has been sent on leave by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, a release from MOTP said today.

default placeholder

Body found in rubble of Wales fire

At 01:30hrs today, police say that a fire destroyed a home at Wales, West Bank Demerara, and the body of an unidentified person was subsequently discovered among the rubble.

default placeholder

Exxon Mobil says second well confirms `significant’ oil find

Exxon Mobil Corporation today said that drilling results from the Liza-2 well, the second exploration well in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana, confirm a world-class find with a recoverable deposit of between 800 million and 1.4 billion oil-equivalent barrels.

default placeholder

Proposed law bans smoking in public places

Proposed tobacco control legislation will see a ban on smoking in public places while cigarette advertising will no longer be allowed and pictorial and text health warnings will have to be displayed on at least 75% of the packaging on tobacco products.

default placeholder

$800M in specialty hospital steel ‘awarded’ to BK

Government needs to explain why about $800 million worth of steel and other equipment that were earmarked for the now-frozen specialty hospital project, went solely to businessman Brian Tiwarie, former President Donald Ramotar says.

Ezekiel Murray

Truck driver jailed for three years for crash causing child’s death

Clyde Barker, the truck driver who was accused of running over 12-year-old Ezekiel Murray along the Friendship Public Road last year and causing his death, was yesterday sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.

default placeholder

Businessman jailed and fined over gun, ammo possession

A businessman was yesterday sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined $100,000 after being found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

default placeholder

Business minister ‘in denial’ over economic ‘crisis’

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday said that Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin is in denial about Guyana not being in an economic crisis.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: