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Ministry of Education officials and McAlpine representatives sign the contract for construction of the new John Gray High School gym.  
L-r front row: Hon. Tara Rivers, JP, MLA, Minister for Education, Ian Pairaudeau, Managing Director of McAlpine, and  Christen Suckoo, Chief Officer for Education.
L-r back row: Clive Baker, Senior Policy Advisor & Manager (CS&P, Ministry of Education, Tommy Ebanks, Facilities Manager, Ministry of Education,Gary Clarke, Quantity Surveyor, McAlpine, and Jonathan Matthews, Senior Project Manager for the Ministry of Education and Public Works Department.

Published 29th June 2016, 12:45pm

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – Local contractor McAlpine Ltd. has been awarded the contract to complete the gymnasium on the new John Gray High School site. McAlpine was one of four companies that participated in the procurement process which took place over a three-month period. The gym represents the first phase of the school’s construction campaign and is expected to be completed by no later than May 2017 in time for students to sit exams in the new building.

“We are pleased that work is scheduled to begin again shortly on the John Gray High School project,” said Hon. Tara Rivers, Minister for Education. “The Government is committed to building a facility that meets the needs of all the stakeholders. Over the last few months, the project management team has engaged with the John Gray students, teachers and parents to ensure that they had a say in the process and are able to take ownership of their school. I look forward to McAlpine delivering on the goals set for this project, and handing over a building of which we all can be proud.”

Chief Officer in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Christen Suckoo, said the students weighed in on the functionality of the gym and gave their ideas on how to utilise the space outside of Physical Education while the P.E. teaching staff and Principal Jon Clark also provided feedback on the design that will lead to an enhancement in physical education. Suggestions included an automatic curtain that will divide the hall to allow two classes to be taught at the same time; court striping for all of the indoor sports which will enable the national curriculum for P.E. to be delivered more efficiently and consistently; a multi-purpose space for P.E. theory classes to be taken; and two teaching stations that will allow for instruction to be given prior to the physical classes. Currently, teachers cannot offer P.E. lessons if it is raining outside as there are no indoor areas to accommodate physical activities.

“The project team also took on board the lessons learned from the challenges and issues at Clifton Hunter High School, and consulted the teachers at that school on what is and isn’t working on that campus so as to avoid repeating or perpetuating the same issues at the new John Gray campus. The feedback we have received from the various stakeholders has definitely informed this process, and we have balanced their input by looking at school construction and design outside of Cayman as well as what is working in Cayman in order to ensure that the final result is a best-fit for our students and community,” said Suckoo. “We are also aiming for the best value for money so the team has looked at ways to make the building as energy-efficient as possible. We look forward to working with McAlpine to bring our vision to fruition.”

“Selecting the right contractor was essential for this challenging project. Completing the gymnasium required a contractor with a proven track record of constructing complex buildings, and experience with delivering school and sports projects,” explained Jonathan Matthews, Senior Project Manager, who has been hired by the Ministry, and seconded to the Public Works Department’s Major Projects Office. “Through the prequalification procurement processes, the team at McAlpine demonstrated that they have the right experience and understand the risks associated with this project and how to mitigate them. Following the open tender evaluation, the company proved to be the most competitive contractor, providing the best value for money to the Ministry of Education and the general public.”

Matthews added that McAlpine will provide a dedicated team that will work closely with the project team and the school to ensure the project meets the needs of end users and minimises any impact on the operation of the school.

“We are delighted to contribute to the Government’s effort to improve the educational facilities in Cayman. McAlpine has a long standing history of providing high quality construction developments in Cayman, and our team of well experienced construction professionals, all of whom are Caymanians, is more than capable of successfully completing the project,” said Ian Pairaudeau, Managing Director of McAlpine. “We also like to keep as many Caymanians employed within the industry as possible, and anticipate that this project will provide jobs for approximately 30 to 40 people between McAlpine and its sub-contractors, which is an added benefit.”