School contracts go out

Public tenders for electrical systems, mechanical systems, plumbing and fire protection have been issued for the new Clifton Hunter High School campus in Frank Sound.

The work is being sought for all buildings on the Clifton Hunter site, as well as the school site itself.

The Ministry of Education hopes to complete the Clifton Hunter project in time for the start of the next school year in September 2011.

According to bid documents, those seeking the job must have relevant experience with similar size construction projects, appropriate liability insurance and up-to-date trade and business licences, health insurance and pension payments for their employees.

The closing date for bids is 10 February.

It was a point reinforced late last year when Education Minister Rolston Anglin announced his intention to separately seek bids on 71 different jobs for the Clifton Hunter and new John Gray High School projects.

Those jobs include concrete work, electrical installation, plumbing and interior design. A few jobs have already been bid out; the vast majority will be made public between January and February. Work for the electrical, mechanical and plumbing needs at each school are expected to be among the more lucrative jobs on offer with the school project bids.

The construction manager for the project and the ministry will coordinate to ensure that each separate piece of work gets done, Mr. Anglin said.

The ministry’s project liaison, Thomas Ebanks, earlier cautioned that not everyone would be given work simply because they showed up and presented a tender. He said the ministry would not do business with any firm that did not have a trade and business licence, that was not in compliance within the past 30 to 60 days on employee pension payments, or that did not have the requisite public liability or workman’s compensation insurance. Each tender has different insurance requirements.

Also, Mr. Ebanks said, beyond eligibility requirements, the bid process would consider the capability of each firm that bids on a project.

“Please indicate to us that, one, your company is capable of doing the work,” he told the contractors’ group. “If you’ve done similar work, list it all out. We’re not looking to cut any corners.”

Mr. Anglin said the project work was being split up in such a way to ensure that as many qualified companies as possible could have a chance at the work in a slow economy.

“There is still a lot of opportunity on this project,” Mr. Anglin said in December. “Now, we can’t hire one man…to lay two blocks and another man to lay two blocks; at the end of the day, the best man wins.”

The Cayman Islands government terminated agreements with the schools project’s previous contractor and has more recently parted ways with the schools’ main subcontractor, although it was understood that the local contractor would be allowed to make bids on future projects.