#Providenciales, November 1, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – It has been roughly one year and two months since devastating hurricane Irma. Not only did it leave some residents without homes, most residents without electricity and water weeks after the storm, but it also left our students with, in some cases, severely damaged schools. Shortly after the storm officials visited the schools and counted 11 of the 15 public schools were damaged.
Hon Goldray Ewing, Minister of Infrastructure for the Turks and Caicos Islands said in November of last year that the reconstruction at the schools thus far was $6 million dollars. Damages so ruinous, that some schools were forced to relocate.
Oseta Jolly Primary School in particular, whose students and teachers were relocated from the Blue Hills community to the Gustarvus Lighbourne Sports Complex for the entire 2017-2018 academic year.
During a press conference, Premier Hon Sharlene Robinson assured the nation that reconstruction works continue on the schools. As Finance Minister, Hon Robinson also said that four additional schools have advanced to contract stage.
“The Oseta Jolly primary school, the Turks and Caicos Community College in Grand Turk, HJ Robinson School in Grand Turk and Raymond Gardiner High School in North Caicos.”
Premier Robinson gave an update on Iris Stubbs Primary School and Marjorie Basden High School in South Caicos, stating “Works continue on the two schools in South Caicos that is the Iris Stubbs Primary school and the Marjorie Basden High School who were at contract stage since March this year.”
As for the hurricane relief plan, Premiere says that they are continuing in urgent efforts to continue the country’s plan following the hurricane damage of last September.
“This plan will set priorities for building back better over the next four years and this program will include policy as well as an aggressive infrastructure project program.”
The Premier touched on the hot button issue of the Grand Turk Airport.
“I wish to apologise to the residents of Grand Turk for the handling of our Island’s airport named for our national hero. We are, too, disappointed and have worked to bring all matters to a satisfactory and urgent conclusion. The matter of the fencing not only at Grand Turk but other islands and the repairs to the Grand Turk terminal we have feverishly followed to bring these two projects forward and to a conclusion.”
Madame Premier made it clear that these works are not a funding issue nor a procurement issue.
“Now these works should have been underway but have not yet started,” said Robinson, advising also that her government is well on its way to concluding their hurricane relief plan.
Report by Leyshan Grant