CI$75M phase finished at JGHS

| 06/09/2021 | 40 Comments
Cayman News Service
Interior view inside the main reception hall in Sector 1 during construction

(CNS): The phased construction of the new John Gray High School saw the developers hand over three new parts of the campus to the Department of Education Services (DES) at the end of last month. As well as the administrative block, the buildings providing a home for the technology, vocational and and home economics classes and the performing arts centre were handed over. This completes the $75 million new phase of the build-out of this new school, which has been under construction for well over a decade.

According to a press release from the education ministry, on 25 August McAlpine Ltd handed over the keys to the buildings that complete Phase 3, Project A of the construction works.

These include (Sector 1) the main/entrance, administration offices, a health centre, kitchen, dining area, and a counselling/nurturing area with a secure space for students and staff as they arrive; and (Sector 5) technology workshop areas, technical class areas on the ground floor and home economics classes on the second floor.

These areas will have robotics, clothing, textiles, food, design, building/construction technology labs, and an automotive shop containing vehicle hoists, equipment, and machinery for training and development in vehicle maintenance.

Also finished (Sector 6) is a new performing arts centre complete with a dance and drama studio, a music room, a steel pan room, and a double-purpose performance theatre/assembly hall with retractable seating.

At the formal handover last month, Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said the school will have an impact on multiple generations of Caymanian children. “It is demonstrative of the Cayman Islands Government’s commitment to providing our children with necessary resources that will enable them to develop into productive members of our society,” she said.

DES Director Mark Ray said it was a momentous occasion. “We are looking forward to the utilization of these sectors as comprehensive teaching and learning spaces to the benefit of all John Gray High School students regardless of their learning styles,” he said.

Work continues on Sectors 2, 3 and 4, which are scheduled to be handed over in 2022.

Government began the tendering process for the development of this school in 2010 but the project was stalled due to numerous issues, including a dispute with the original contractors, a shortage of public funds, changes made from one government to another and legal troubles.

Parts of the campus have been under reconstruction since the project was resurrected in 2016 with the school gym that cost around CI$9 million, although the project itself went back to the drawing board a number of times.

When it’s finished, the full cost of this school will be hard to calculate because of the significant problems that plagued it from the beginning. But all told it will be in excess of $200 million for a project that was originally priced at less that $60 million.

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Category: development, Education, Local News

Comments (40)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Still no focus on helping boys and SEN kids.
    Year 12 is also a dumping ground!
    Kids need to stay in school..not CIFEC or UCCI at 16 years!
    keep the A Levels in public schools also!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    What would Gareth Long say about such excesses?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Do you think if politicians was not getting something out of these multi million projects, they would agree for it, come on now, some of us Caymanians are stupid, but not all of us are stupid. If walls and bushes could talk and be lawyers many would be in prison.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Government’s uncontrolled spending on public projects have literally stressed 2 Project Managers to death!!

  5. BLVCKLISTED says:

    I remember when I went into year 10 of high school; they called the best and brightest students out to break ground on this new school and said it would be ready for us to use in our graduating year.

    I graduated in 2010, lol.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “But all told it will be in excess of $200 million for a project that was originally priced at less that $60 million.”

    Cayman in a nutshell. Carry on regardless.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Auditor General, attention. Report!

  8. SMH says:

    This is another example of why the Progressives should never be allowed to control government again. CHHS redux. SMH

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is it category 5 proofed? Hurricane proofed windows as well? If so, it can be used as a shelter.

  10. Anonymous says:

    so cig never learnt form the clifton hunter fiasco???


      Another PPM expensive project, financial disaster and monument to Alden’s, Juliana and Tara’s massive egos. To spend nearly 200m on a high school campus where the level of education and the end product is substandard can best be described as criminal.
      There must be an audit by the AG ‘a office look at the results of the project that illustrates the incompetence, waste and public malfeasance of all parties that are responsible for another white elephant.

      No lessons were learnt from the Clifton Hunter High School debacle. That alone speaks volumes about political leadership and the civil service.

      • Anonymous says:

        They did not want to learn any lesson from the chhs structure. The complaints of the various stakeholders that have to be in the chhs structure did not stop DES from arranging various walk-throughs with jghs teachers for them to view chhs. As far as the ministry is concerned chhs is perfect. Let us just pray that all the faults noted at Clifton will be addressed at John gray

    • School Teacher says:


  11. Anonymous says:

    Ole Crap! Where did all that money go, certainly not into the building? Wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if the roof leaks. Maybe a little of that $$$$ leaked into some private pockets?

  12. Anonymous says:

    The most expensive school …. in the world

  13. This Mama Loves Education says:

    And by comparison Cayman Prep School built the huge two-storey extension to their high school on Walkers Road for CI$5 million. For everything from architects fees to kitting it out. I think if Government were required to publish an itemized cost list of each project when completed they would think twice about the padding that goes into everything that goes through the Public Works Department.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kick backs , people are millionaires from kick backs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Prep’s building costs and labour were LARGELY donated.

      • Anonymous says:

        So? You don’t think there are thousands of people in Cayman willing to donate time, funds and expertise to a government school?

        This looks like maladministration, if not outright corruption. Either way, a crime.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes but they did not have the extremely expensive crew that the goverment seems to like having on all these projects. Funny thing is how they do them with cheap labor broker workers, guess that is so more money stays in the wallet.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Ca…ching!! Meanwhile the ‘graduates’ still can’t string a proper sentence together, add or multiply without a calculator and have NO idea what’s happened or happening in the real world!!

    Politicians need to be accountable!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    LOL. Well someone got rich.

  16. Beaumont Zodecloun says:

    What’s done is done. We can talk about what went wrong, but this is what we have. I want most of all for all this money to not be wasted, and this facility be used toward the betterment of our children’s education.

    Perhaps it can also be a local hurricane shelter.

    • Pirate DNA says:

      Sadly a lot of this money leaked out to people involved in the project. This always happens and anyone who thinks that there isn’t rampant corruption in these projects is delusional.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Shameful, build decent functional buildings and hire the best teachers. All show no substance. Another generation of young Caymanians fed to the lions by Caymanian politicians looking to build monuments to themselves.

    • Anony says:

      I don’t think it’s fair to say that the government hasn’t taken the initiative to build proper infrastructures for our children. In this case, they have. Also, I believe many of us same locals fail to acknowledge and take responsibility for the children of this generation. If proper parenting isn’t practiced at home, then how do you really expect these dysfunctional children to learn in school?

      As Caymanians, we complain too much and refuse to acknowledge some of the mess we have made that has and still is contributing to the failures of this country.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Presumably these facilities will be made use of outside of just school hours. It would be criminal not to make highest and best use of them to address community needs.

  19. Anonymous says:

    How the did it cost so much ?. Buildings dont make children learn. When i was going to school we didnt even have lights and electric fans, but we all tried to learn to the best of our ability and most of us went to the top of education at them times.

    • Anonymous says:

      So what will win the highest per square foot construction cost in the country? This or Walkers/Intertrust.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Are the toilets and sinks gold??

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