Emergency work is to be done on the Sand Creek Secondary School in Region Nine after a visit by Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Sydney Allicock found the structure in a deplorable state
The school houses some 298 students from the community and within the South Rupununi.
A release from the Department of Public Information (DPI) yesterday said that during the Minister’s weekend visit to the Region Nine community, residents raised concerns that the approximately five-year-old structure, is unsafe and unhygienic for students.
“The walls are separating from the columns and the beams are cracking; it’s very dangerous for our students. They sent someone to … fix it and they make a makeshift thing,” Dorothy Faria told the Minister during the South Rupununi District Council (SRDC) meeting on Saturday.
Allicock told DPI that, “As I understood it we were supposed to have this under control already. My assessment is that this is an emergency. While some remedial work was done we’re seeing the cracks opening again. I’ll take this to my other colleagues and see what we could do to remedy the situation in time for September”.
During Allicock’s inspection of the building, DPI said that deep cracks were clearly visible outside the building
The school’s compound and corridors were also filled with animal dung and according to the caretaker the fence was demolished but no one seemed to know why.
“I’m going to try to follow-up to see what has happened and it has caused the compound to be in a very deplorable state. It’s like a corral actually,” Allicock lamented, according to DPI.
Allicock voiced dissatisfaction with contractors who are compliant “on paper but the actual work is not the very best”. He promised to “double check” the contractor assigned to the school with the regional authority.
“We need to give our people within the region more of these contracts because they know the terrain, they understand the makeup of the soil and would be able to be directed by that through the cooperation of the communities,” he declared.
In February 2014, Stabroek News had reported that just over a year after being completed, the $77.7 million Sand Creek Secondary had developed major cracks in the building and parents feared that it could collapse.
At the time, a resident of the area had told Stabroek News that the work done was not up to standard and there were a lot of cracks in the walls as well as the concrete beams and door frames. “Although there is no rain, those things rotting away,” the resident said. He said that parents were concerned and letters and a petition were sent to the ministries of Education and Amerindian Affairs but they got no response and nothing was done. He said that a team from the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs eventually visited the community and said that they would look into the matter.
The resident had said then that during construction, in the rainy season, a lot of cement was destroyed and what was used was of poor quality while the type of sand used was also an issue. Some remedial work appeared to have been done but this didn’t prevent the problems that were evident over the weekend when Allicock visited.