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(Seated) Mr. Martin Bould, Chair Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) and Mr. Christen Suckoo, Chief Officer, Ministry of Education, Employment & Gender Affairs (MEEGA), sign the OBC contract in the presence of team who is working towards making the new Sunrise Centre a reality.
(Back row, left to right) Dennis Harris, Quantity Surveyor, PWD; Alan Robinson, Project Manager, PWD (Both on the SATF Technical Subcommittee); Ronnie Dunn, RLB; Shari Smith, Senior Policy Advisor & Manager (Inclusion), MEEGA, Chair SATF Steering Committee and Technical Subcommittee; Kenneth Ebanks, Member of SATF Steering Committee, Bernadine Murrain, RLB; Matt King, RLB; Tammy Ebanks, Acting Deputy Chief Officer Special Projects, MEEGA, Member of SATF Steering Committee; Kimberly Voaden, Acting Director of the Sunrise Adult Training Centre & Tommy Ebanks, Facility Manager, MEEGA, both members of the SATF Steering Committee and Technical Subcommittee.

Published 16th January 2017, 9:30am

The Ministry of Education, Employment & Gender Affairs has contracted local project development management company Rider Levett Bucknall to develop the Outline Business Case (OBC) for the new Sunrise Adult Training Centre (SRC) facility. The OBC will review the cost implications of available options for a facility in a more centralised location, the expansion of programme services, and increase in client enrolment. Rider Levett Bucknall was one of three companies that participated in the bidding process which took place over a seven -month period.

“This is an important step in establishing a modern facility that seeks to provide adults with disabilities in the Cayman Islands with access to lifelong learning and quality education and training in the most appropriate inclusive setting. I am extremely proud to be a part of the Government administration that has passed the first ever Disabilities Law and has initiated the process to construct this much needed facility,” said Hon. Tara Rivers, Minister for Education. “I also commend the Steering Committee members for their commitment to seeing this project gain momentum. Although we are not necessarily ready to break ground just yet, we hope that the community and the corporate sector will join us in our efforts to make the Centre a reality when the time comes. As a society, we have a moral obligation to provide as much opportunity as possible for the total inclusion of persons with disabilities, and this much needed facility will help to fulfil that responsibility.”

Although the project is expected to be a private-public partnership initiative, the OBC will advise the Government on the key decision points and stakeholders required to move the project onto the next phase. It will also assist with providing key financial information on the estimated budget allocations required to start, complete and maintain this type of facility, and allow for costing of different aspects of the design so that the private sector and the community at large can make its contributions via a variety of corporate and individual sponsorships.

“We are pleased to have reached this stage in the journey toward the new Sunrise adult training facility, and we look forward to this working partnership with Rider Levett Bucknall, and the completion of the OBC,” said Christen Suckoo, Chief Officer in the Ministry. “The OBC will review various options presented in the Strategic Outline Case in relation to the most suitable location and design for the new facility as well as a projected costing for the construction of the facility and estimated operational costs. The team at Rider has the experience and expertise that will move this project forward and we expect that they will provide the guidance and input that is needed to bring about this much needed and anticipated fit-for-purpose building.”

“Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) is delighted to have been selected to work on the Sunrise Centre project, and considers it a privilege to play a part in bringing the vision for this important building to fruition,” said Martyn Bould, MBE, Chair. “We believe the project will benefit greatly from the knowledge and experience offered by our team of experts, including local financial consultants Fincor Cayman, and UK based special needs facilities experts, FirstFox Architecture, coupled with RLB’s global, regional and local resources. Our aim is to develop a sustainable project that meets the current and future needs of all stakeholders.”

Members of the Steering Committee were on hand to witness the signing of the contract by Suckoo and Bould.

“I am very excited to be at this phase of our project, and look forward to working with the consultants on the development of the OBC to ensure that the needs of the stakeholders are a primary focus,” said Shari Smith, the Ministry’s Senior Policy Advisor & Manager for Inclusion and Steering Committee Chair. “This is a great opportunity for us to create something that will not only bring an enhanced level of service to adults with disabilities, but also allow us to establish a training facility of excellence promoting an inclusive community along with personal independence and development.”

The signing of the OBC signifies the start of Phase Two of the Capital Project process. All major projects must go through a four-phase process as required by the Public Financial Management Law (PFML). The OBC is expected to be completed within 90 days of the contract signing. Once the OBC is completed it will be presented to Cabinet by the Steering Committee for approval and directive regarding the next phase.

“To say that the management and staff of the SRC are excited about this new phase in the future construction of the new building would be an understatement,” said SRC Acting Director Kim Voaden. “There is an estimated waitlist of two to three years prior to possible attendance at the SRC day programme because of the current facility’s size restrictions, physical accessibility and staffing. Therefore, extending services to those in need is not possible at this time. Of course, with a new purpose built facility we would be better able to accommodate those persons not only on the waiting list, but those future clients as well. We are anxiously awaiting the construction of a new facility, and committed to doing our part to make it a reality.”

When completed, the building will be classified as a Centre of Excellence in the training of adults with disabilities within the Cayman Islands, and will support and develop independent living skills for the clients; provide therapeutic and recreational programmes which promote inclusion and participation in meaningful and purposeful activities; and enhance and develop social and interpersonal skills which will facilitate a higher degree of successful participation and inclusion in the community.