Work to recommence on John Gray project

John Gray High School project contractor Tom Jones International confirmed Thursday that work at the school construction site would resume shortly.

Workers walked off the job a week ago after the company claimed it had not been paid by the government.

On Wednesday, a payment of some CI$5.3 million for the project was received by a local bank. The transaction was approved by the Ministry of Education to repay a temporary loan Tom Jones had taken out to facilitate the project continuing.

A meeting was being set Monday between government and the contractor to negotiate remaining issues with the project.

Tom Jones International President Hunter Jones said the resumption of work at the John Gray site was ‘a show of good faith and conciliation.’

‘We are committed to building these schools in accord with our contract,’ Mr. Jones said.

The loan repayment was only one of a few outstanding issues with the project.

Another funding issue involves a CI$3.64 million payment that Tom Jones officials said was due on 10 September. Ministry of Education leaders have previously said that amount was not due until 10 October.

A Tom Jones representative called government statements about the deadline actually being 10 October nonsense.

‘Government, in recent days, has asserted for the first time that (Tom Jones) was one day late in submitting its application for payment last July and therefore, its funds are not due until Oct. 10,’ a statement from the company read. ‘(Tom Jones) strongly refutes government’s position.’

Education Minister Rolston Anglin expressed some disappointment about statements made to the press regarding the schools construction project by the contractor.

Mr. Anglin said Wednesday that he knew of no reason why work at the John Gray site shouldn’t resume.