October 18, 2019

Cayman Islands Education Ministry holds Market Engagement Day

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  • Ministry holds market engagement day for local contractors who wish to bid on new John Gray High School construction.
  • Presentations provided status updates, concept design plans and included a project tour.
  • Contractors interviewed regarding available procurement routes.
  • Project takes forward Government’s priority goal of creating “best education opportunities for all our children”.

 

Grand Cayman (GIS) – The Ministry of Education held a market engagement day to update local contractors who wish to bid on the completion of the new John Gray High School () campus, which is one of three construction projects that will create a new Education Complex

The contractors received presentations on each of the construction projects that the Government plans to embark upon in the coming months and years. This included familiarising them with the bidding process, including what would be required from them for bidding. Interviews were also held with contractors to get feedback on the procurement routes available, and to help in the selection of the optimum procurement route.

The outline for the new education complex master plan is:

  • Project A: Complete the new JGHS campus, by adding to the partially constructed structures to make them into a contiguous high school building complex; this would be substantially complete by March 2021, ready for the school to open in the new academic year in August 2021.
  • Project B: Refurbish the existing George Hicks site (Current JGHS) for the following proposed users: , DES Student Services, Corner Stones, Parenting and Pregnant Teens and UCCI demolish the old John Gray building which now houses CI Further Education Centre (); this would be substantially complete by February 2022.
  • Project C: Demolish the current CIFEC site and construct the new JGHS sports field; this would be substantially complete by September 2022.

After a short welcome from the Chief Officer of Education, Mr. Christen Suckoo, the Education Minister, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly thanked the construction industry persons for attending, and said the new school is designed to provide “improved teaching spaces that encourage dynamic teaching and enable multiple learning experiences.”

The new project, which is a top priority for Government, upholds Government’s broad outcome goal of creating “best education opportunities for all our children”.

 

 The Minister emphasised, “The completion of the new John Gray High School is one way in which we can create a positive learning environment for our students. In the same way that we have five-star tourist facilities, our children deserve a world-class facility that will demonstrate education as a major priority of the country.”  She also challenged the audience to approach this project not only with fiscal astuteness but with creativity and passion, as she viewed this project as an important component of nation building.

The new design would help mitigate some of the challenges that the current JGHS school site poses for students and teachers, she commented.

Another highlight of the project is that the JGHS plans reflect new school designs benchmarked in other high-performing jurisdictions. “This modern design also takes the best from the schools here in Cayman, providing a learning environment that is right for our people and our culture,” she emphasised.

At the same time, the new campus would be “secure and safe with high visibility and lines of sight that will allow for the better management of students,” Minister O’Connor-Connolly concluded.

Providing the rationale for the revised design , Senior Project Manager of PWD Major Projects Office and Ministry of Education, outlined that “the new design is based on research connecting school design with improved educational outcomes and on extensive input from all stakeholders, including teachers, students and parents, to ensure that their feedback is incorporated into the design. It was also determined from the start that the revised school design should be functional and practical, paying less attention to empty architectural elegance.”

Mr. Matthews also revealed that the new design is custom built for the actual users of the school based on their feedback. Geared to providing improved teaching conditions and to work with an optimised curriculum model, the new design will also offer better opportunities for “improving student performance and increasing engagement”, he said.

Minister O’Connor-Connolly thanked all who have worked on the project, including the Public Works Department’s Major Project Office and the KPMG team, who presented the plans to the contractors and who are leading the creation of the Outline Business Case that will be presented to Cabinet for approval in September 2018, with procurement expected to commence in October 2018.

Contractors also toured the project site as part of the engagement day activities.

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Photo1: Masterplan of Education Complex when Completed

Photo 2: New JGHS Campus and Sports Field – View from Truman Bodden Sports Complex

Photo 3: New JGHS Campus and Sports Field – View from Walkers Road

Photo 4: Minister O’Connor-Connolly addresses contractors.

Photo 5: Mr. Jonathan Matthews goes over project plans.

Photo 6: Minister O’Connor-Connolly, Councillor Connolly, Ministry Officials and Contractors tour the JGHS Campus.

Photo 7: Minister O’Connor-Connolly tours JGHS Campus.

 

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