(EMU) – St. Kitts, July 24, 2017:Cromwell Williams, Public Works Director and Chairman of the Steering Committee for the new Basseterre High School (BHS), informed the general public that it is their hope to begin construction in a few months, as the consultants gave the greenlight for building to commence. During a press conference organized by the Ministry of Education on Thursday 20th July, Mr. Williams announced that plans are well underway for the ground breaking commencement of the capital project. The press conference is the first of many actions the Ministry intends to take, in an effort to qualm the minds of the citizens, specifically the residents of East Basseterre.There has been a public debate on chosen site for BHS due to the fact it is near the Basseterre aquifer.
Senior Principal Officer of Stantec (Consultant Engineering Firm), Andrew Hutchinson, in his professional assessment of the proposed site deemed that it was safe for the structure to be built upon, pending the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is positive.
Minister of Education, Hon. Shawn Richards, felt confident that the site chosen by the committee is one that would be ideal for the new BHS. He also noted that this is a teaching and learning experience.
“We have gone to persons within and outside of the Federation to get expert advice, it has become a learning experience for everyone involved, and while society is being impacted it is being impacted in a positive manner,” said Minister Richards.
Amidst the public debate regarding adverse effects the new BHS may cause on the aquifer in terms of sewage, both the Minister and consultants assured that all of the necessary steps are being taken to ensure that the school and residents of East Basseterre are satisfied with the end product.
He continued, “If it is that the EIA determines that there is some particular environmental impact then I think one of the first things that we would need to do is determine if that can be mitigated against, and one would also have to look at the severity of that particular impact.”
The panel includedMinister Richards; Minister of Public Infrastructure, Hon. Ian Liburd; Chairman of Innotech, Anthony DaSilva; Senior Principal Officer of Stantec, Andrew Hutchinson; Director of Public Works, Cromwell Williams; Water Engineer, Dennison Paul; and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Vincent Hodge.
The temporary site of the Basseterre High School is currently situated on leased land just opposite the Beach Allen Primary in Taylors. Innotech Services Limited was also the contractors of the temporary buildings that house the students of the school. Mr. Da Silva also announced that the buildings that are currently being used by the students can be repurposed.