Cost estimates for John Gray project continue to rise

Latest figure projects $106.1M to be spent on school

John Gray High School

The final phases of the new John Gray High School could cost more than $106 million, according to the Ministry of Education.

The estimate, shared with the Legislative Assembly Thursday, is higher than the figures provided to the body just days before by Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.

On 23 Oct., the minister set out a range of $68.4 million to $82.9 million needed to complete the long-delayed high school project.

The ministry’s Deputy Chief Officer Wilbur Welcome, however, said Wednesday that the first of three projects alone had been approved for $76.37 million and that the total affordability limit of all three projects had been set at $106.2 million.

That amount would add to the $54.4 million already spent on the school as of 2012 and about $8.8 million spent to finish the school gymnasium ahead of the 2017 election.

While the total cost for the school, with the construction project now stretching over more than 12 years, remains unknown, Opposition Leader Arden McLean told the Legislative Assembly that the work was on track to cost the country close to $200 million – well beyond the $59.9 million the school had originally been contracted for in 2008.

Three additional phases have been outlined in an effort to complete the campus. Project A, already contracted for $76.37 million, involves completion of the new John Gray High School. This project has been broken down into two phases, one scheduled for completion by August 2021 and the second for August 2022.

Project B will involve repurposing the site on which the current John Gray school is located, the former George Hicks High School site.

Project C will comprise demolishing or refurbishing the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre campus and completing the new JGHS sports fields.

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