$6 million budgeted for multi-purpose hall
Construction of the new John Gray High School – abandoned amid a funding crunch – will be completed in phases over the next several years, Education Minister Tara Rivers has revealed.
Just over $6 million has been set aside in the current budget for completion of a multi-purpose hall at the site, which Ms. Rivers said could be used for students to sit exams. She described the current John Gray High School as “dilapidated.”
She did not set out a timeline for the final completion of the project, which was left half built when funds ran out. As of March, 2012, a further $43 million work was required to complete the school on top of the $54.4 million already spent, according to then Education Minister Rolston Anglin.
No new work has been done since then and it is not clear if any additional work will be required as a result of the pause in construction.
Thanks to new financial restrictions, government no longer has the ability to finance major projects and the school will have to be finished in installments – starting with the hall.
“We have to do a phased approach because we can’t afford to do otherwise,” said Ms. Rivers.
She said the multi-purpose hall would be the start point because it was “substantially far along with regards to construction and the benefit of providing a place for our students to sit their exams.”
She said students currently had to sit exams “all over the place,” in circumstances that were “less than ideal.”
“There is no central hall for them to sit an exam in the peace and quiet and solitude of being able to focus on performing to the best and optimal that they can,” she said.
The minister added that the current John Gray High School was “one of the most dilapidated physical buildings that our students are having to endure on a daily basis.”