Completing the new John Gray High School campus, a project more than 12 years in the making, could cost an additional $82.8 million, Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly has told the Legislative Assembly.
The project will now require a further $3.65 million for another redesign, following suggestions by the National Hazard Management Council, O’Connor-Connolly said to lawmakers Friday, 23 Oct. These changes would aim to improve hurricane-shelter standards, increase cistern capacity, and permit the facility to be used as an emergency medical centre and post-hurricane distribution centre for essential supplies. The update would also increase hurricane-shelter capacity by 3,800 people over the 1,840 spaces in the original design.
The redesign request is the latest in a series of changes and roadblocks that have long stalled the project.
The school, originally projected to open in 2009 at a cost of $59.9 million, has been the subject of dispute since early on, driving work stoppages, lawsuits and still-unknown cost overruns.
By 2012, John Gray had already cost government $54.4 million. A new gymnasium, presented before the 2017 election, came with an $8.8 million price tag. At this point, however, the full costs of the school project have not been made public.
A final business case for the next of three additional phases – the completion of the new high school site – has been approved for an estimated $20.1 million, the minister said. Separate final businesses cases will be established for the remaining two phases, which include demolition of the current Cayman Islands Further Education Centre site and development of sports fields.
So, how did the project get to this point? We take a look back at the many phases of the new John Gray High School.