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Posted: Saturday 22 June, 2024 at 3:32 PM

PWD Director updates reconstruction of Joshua Obadiah Primary School

By: SKNIS, Press Release

    Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 21, 2024 (SKNIS): The Public Works Department is encouraging contractors to submit bids to construct a new and modern Joshua Obadiah Williams Primary School in Molineux, after the first round of public tender did not result in a successful bid.


    The school was destroyed by fire in March 2022. Plans for the upgraded school feature the inclusion of several infrastructural improvements that will vastly improve the learning environment and experience, expand the number of buildings and cater to persons with disabilities. These include introducing an auditorium and staff room to the campus, redesigning the conference room and bathroom facilities, and installing a lift and wheelchair ramps, and more.


    The contract to reconstruct the school was tendered publicly earlier, with four companies collecting the documents. Two companies submitted bids to undertake the massive project. However, the Director of the Public Works Department (PWD), George Gilbert, noted that the two bids were unresponsive. This means that several requirements in the tender documents were not met and follow-up questions by PWD officials to the contractors went unanswered.


    “For example, we asked questions about a performance bond [which] is a certificate from a reputable insurance company or a bank which is given to the client [the government] stating that 20 percent of the contract sum will be paid back to the government if the contractor cannot perform the work,” Mr. Gilbert stated on the June 19 edition of the radio and television programme InFocus.


    “Now, when we asked [the contractor] the question, if you are given this job, show us that you will be able to provide us with a performance bond. When [they] provided nothing, it means that there is no guarantee that you have the backing of an institution, so in the event that you [the contractor] fails, the government is now left wide open.”


    Mr. Gilbert added that the contractors were not able to get letters of credit from some supply companies, and other standard factors rendered their bids unresponsive.


    As such, the PWD decided to break up the Joshua Obadiah Williams Primary School project into three sections. 


    “Companies can now bid on one block or two blocks, which means that their risks will be smaller, their performance bond and insurance will be smaller, so they may be able to manage that aspect better,” said Mr. Gilbert, noting that previous bidding companies can submit new bids for a section.


    This will also create additional opportunities for employment.








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