Consultants to cost new Sunrise Centre

| 17/01/2017 | 19 Comments
Cayman News Service

Martin Bould of Rider Levett Bucknall (left) and Christen Suckoo, Chief Officer, Ministry of Education, Employment & Gender Affairs, sign the OBC contract

(CNS): The education ministry has awarded a contract to Rider Levett Bucknall to come up with an outline business case (OBC) for the new Sunrise Adult Training Centre (SRC). Officials said the consultants will review the cost of possible options to develop a new and expanded facility in a more central location that can offer more programmes to more clients.  The centre currently has a waiting list of over two years because of its limitations. A government release said that the firm was one of three consultants that bid on the work which will be the first step towards a new centre.

Officials are aiming for a building that, when completed, will be classified as a centre of excellence in the training of adults with disabilities and will support and develop independent living skills for its clients. The goal is to provide therapeutic and recreational programmes which promote inclusion and participation in meaningful and purposeful activities and to enhance and develop social and interpersonal skills, facilitating successful participation and inclusion in the community.

Christen Suckoo, the education ministry’s chief officer, said the team was looking forward to the completion of the business case.

“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,” he said.  “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.”

Education Minister Tara Rivers said that society has a “moral obligation to provide as much opportunity as possible for the total inclusion of persons with disabilities”, and the new facility would help fulfil that responsibility.

“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,” the minister said. “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.”

Government said the project is likely to be a private-public partnership initiative and the OBC will set out main points required to move the project onto the next phase. Officials said it will provide the estimated budget needed to develop and complete the centre as well as maintaining the facility. Government will also be seeking ways that the private sector and the community at large can make contributions through a variety of corporate and individual sponsorships.

Martyn Bould from the Cayman office of RBL said the project would benefit from the knowledge and experience offered by the 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,” he added.

Shari Smith, the ministry’s senior policy advisor and steering committee chair, said this was a great opportunity to create something that will enhance the level of service for adults with disabilities and establish a training facility of excellence promoting community inclusion and personal independence and development.

The OBC triggers phase two of the process for public projects under the Public Financial Management Law. It is expected to be completed within 90 days and will be presented to Cabinet for approval and the 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 the acting director at the Sunrise Centre, 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… Extending services to those in need is not possible at this time.”

But with a new purpose-built facility, she said, people on the waiting would be able to attend and it would pave the way for many more in the future.

“We are anxiously awaiting the construction of a new facility and committed to doing our part to make it a reality,” she added.

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Category: Education, Government Finance, Local News, Politics

Comments (19)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Can I be a Consultant to the Consultants?

  2. Carrie says:

    What I don’t understand is why we need consultants for everything? I am certain the costs of these consultants increase the overall cost of the project and if it goes wrong the consultants are get paid their fee and are long gone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Read the PMFL, it requires independent assessment for projects over 10 million, the government doesn’t have a choice but to get consultants to appraise these projects. THANKS MAC

      • Anonymous says:

        That law needs to be repealed. New Zealand introduced the PMFL and disbanded it as it was too costly. So why the heck is CIG insist on using this nonsense.

        I will be first to say checks and balances need to be in place, however the current system is lacking also. Amending the PMFL is equivalent to amending our Education law; looks good on matter, lacks substance and is extremely costly to implement.

        My two cents.

        • Anonymous says:

          Whatever else you say about the PFML, 3:16, it does not “lack substance”. In fact one of the criticisms of it is that it has too much “substance” – especially too many “checks and balances” which, of course, politicians never like!

    • Anonymous says:

      A background check would reveal some interesting facts.

  3. anonymous says:

    Come on guys, think of the people this will benefit and how important it is for them to have this facility. Can we just get past the politics one single time?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Consultants, consultants and more consultants equals more and more money being spent- with cobwebs catching their reports and no results in the end.

    Typical politicians and civil servants earning a fat salary and doing shi& close to election time !!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tara is such a tool for PPM

  6. MM says:

    So much progress with only a couple months until the LA is dissolved.

    The only thing we can do now is vote PPM back in, there cannot be any other option.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Right on time!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I guess the mental health facility doesn’t get you as many votes

  9. Uncivil Servant says:

    This is a typical move to make at election time. More 11th hour Construction politics brought to you by the PPM.

    Why wait 3.5 years to address this matter when they claim to have surplus funds for the 3 budget cycles?


    • Anonymous says:

      Considering the amount of work that this Ministry has done I am constantly amazed at the level of discussion, and the blind clinging to political affiliations. Perhaps Caymanians would be a happier people if they actually stopped bickering long enough to recognise hard work, progress and achievement. A simple bit of research instead of the usual empty rhetoric would reveal that this particular ministry has been working long and hard in all of its subject areas. But of course all of that is discounted by the constant negative barrage heaped upon it by the very people it aims to serve. I wouldn’t be a civil servant for all the money in the world, or a minister for that matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      Uncivil you are really Uncivil.

      First you complain about government wasting money. Now when the government follows the Law and engages experts to help them save money you critize. That’s not just Uncivil it’s devoid of thought.

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