John Gray project shutting down

The John Gray High School construction project shut down Friday amid the threat of legal action.

Workers depart John Gray construction site

Construction workers leave the John Gray construction site last week after receiving job termination notices. Photo: File

As reported in the Caymanian Compass on Monday, the general contractor Tom Jones International had issued a stop-work notice to the government last week because it had gone past its grace period on a payment due. Tom Jones owner/director Hunter Jones said if payment was received by Friday, the work on the $58.9 million project would stop.

‘It’s not something we wanted to do, but to protect our company, we had to,’ Jones said.

Caribbean Mechanical (High School 2008) Ltd. Chief Executive Alan Roffey, whose company acts as a mechanical electrical and plumbing subcontractor on the job, said his company was moving its belongings off the site.

‘We’ve been moving our tools, equipment and computers off the site since this morning,’ he said.

Roffey said Tom Jones International advised him verbally on Thursday that it had received a letter from the government stating that any shut down on the job would constitute a breach of contract. An email was later sent by Tom Jones confirming the verbal notification.

The shut down will cause the immediate lay-off of some 45 employees from Caribbean Mechanical alone. Another six workers will be kept to do a stock check next week, after which they will be laid off as well, Roffey said.

All of the employees were given seven days notice of their impending lay-offs last Friday.

The government was expected to issue a statement about the matter late Friday afternoon.

Check back to for more updates and make sure to read Monday’s editions of the Caymanian Compass for complete coverage.