You can now listen to Antigua News articles!
By Aabigayle McIntosh
There is significant progress in the government’s plans to construct a new primary school to replace Five Island Primary.
The current structure is being dismantled to facilitate the expansion of the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus (UWIFIC).
Education Minister Daryll Mathew revealed over the weekend that they have reached a stage where all construction drawings have been completed and paid for, and the construction project will go to tender this upcoming week.
“We have structured the tender in such a way, and this is by agreement with our Saudi partners, that only Antiguans and Barbudan construction companies can bid on that work. Now, that is unique because when you’re receiving funding from international entities, they usually insist on international bidding for the work as well.
“I hope the public can appreciate the kind of effort it took to create this carve-out so that Antiguan contractors can be assured that one of their own will be selected by our tendering process to build out this massive state-of-the-art building,” the minister said.
The construction of the new primary school is just one phase and is part of a broader expansion of the 4th landed campus for UWI.
Regarding the university’s actual expansion plan, the minister mentioned there is a master plan, and an architect will be tasked with compiling all the necessary drawings for the facility, including classrooms, lecture theatres, dormitories, administrative spaces, cafeteria, libraries, etc.
“Several companies have applied, and international companies are now reaching out to local companies for partnerships. I am hopeful that by the end of this month, we will have a design consultant selected,” the minister outlined.
Once the Design Consultant is selected, they will engage in discussions with the University and the government.
The next step is to assess the master plan presented to the public and determine if any changes are required. The subsequent phase involves finalizing the plan’s layout and budget planning.
“That process will take place over time because you can imagine the number of drawings and the back-and-forth that will occur. Once that is completed, we will have a set of drawings ready to go to tender for the construction contract,” Minister Mathew said.