Rehabilitative works are in the pipeline for the rundown dorms of the Desrey Clementine Caesar Fox Secondary School in Waramadong Village, Region Seven, according to Regional Chairman Gordon Bradford.
Bradford made the disclosure after a fellow member of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) posted photos of the dorms on Facebook, showing their deterioration, including a non-functioning sanitary block as well as rotted walls and floors.
Stabroek News was told that the condition of the dorms has been a longstanding issue and has been brought up at the RDC’s statutory meetings on several occasions.
Bradford, in an invited comment, said the RDC is cognisant of the situation and that works are expected to begin sooner or later since monies have been allocated for repairs on the buildings in the 2017 budget.
“The region has been paying attention to that and we do have monies in the budget to do works on Waramadong … I know that works are in the pipeline for the dorm in Waramadong and we have to do some correctional works. In fact, we do works every year,” Bradford said.
But while works are said to be ongoing, Bradford contended that the unusual design of the building should be reconsidered if it is to be properly maintained. “Over 500 students are housed there. It is something that you can say was inherited ’cause I don’t really know whose brainchild it was to construct that dormitory the way it is. I always believe in having one major building, so in the event of there being a shortage of dorm parents, they are still able to manage the students. But what we have at Waramadong is a set of little buildings here, there and everywhere and it’s difficult to monitor effectively,” Bradford explained.
“From time to time, especially when you have hundreds of children, you can fix windows this month and then next month you have to go back and do the same thing all over again… We know that the complex does need some urgent attention and [we] will get the work done… I do hope that in the future we will be able to get the support to construct a new dorm because it’s outdated and it’s a recipe for all sorts of things to happen,” he added.
In addition to the current state of the building, the Chairman said he was aware of the dorms being without electricity for a day, which was due to issues with the generator.
This, however, was addressed and the generator is already up and running again. “At the regional level, we accept that there is more work to be done but there is only so much we can do with what is made available to us,” he added.
In the meantime, Bradford said the regional administration is soon expected to embark on the construction of a new building in Purima to house the primary school there. This new building, he said, will come at a cost that is in excess of $20 million and will be replacing the dilapidated building that currently houses the school.
According to the 2017 budget, a total of $88 million was allocated to the region under the delivery of education for the provision of buildings for schools, sanitary blocks and quarters.