The call came during the March 31, 2022, contract signing and groundbreaking ceremony for the school campus redevelopment, where contract bids exceeded the estimates from the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) board.
According to the Premier, ‘if we push this project back anymore, who knows how much material costs will go up further to, or what else might come. And as my Government and anyone around me knows that I always say, never let the perfect become the enemy of the greater good,” he said during a speech.
Premier Fahie added that while the total value of contracts exceeds the original overall estimates by $4 million, the VI cannot afford to defer this project anymore and extend the suffering of students, teachers and other staff at the school.
Given the uncertainty over global economic prices, the Premier explained that the cost was driven by the global impacts of COVID-19 and the compounding effects of the war in Ukraine; however, he said that despite this, the school project will continue to be funded all the way to completion.
“There are funds that we can access. There are several options open to the Government. But, tell them that the one that the Premier is choosing first – with my Government by my side and in front of me – that we should try first, is what we will call the Move with a Purpose Project,” he announced.
“Under the Move with a Purpose Project, I am issuing a challenge to all our successful businessmen and women, and all our companies in the BVI and beyond – especially in the BVI. I am challenging 70 companies, especially in the Virgin Islands, to each make a donation of no less than $60,000 towards the Elmore Stoutt High School Redevelopment Project.
The Premier reminded that ESHS, formerly called BVI High School, has benefitted all in the Virgin Islands as a premier institution where most of the persons in the VI received that education.
He said it is “where our children were educated and are being educated, and where our future generations of Virgin Islanders will be educated.”
Hon Fahie also used the opportunity to underscore that the times of worldwide turbulence, it is not about what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country.
“When you donate to the Move with a Purpose Project, you are investing in the development of Virgin Islanders to become lawyers, doctors, nurses, accountants, mechanics, entrepreneurs, innovators, public officers, managers, sales executives, engineers, CEOs, administrators, hoteliers, investment fund managers, tour operators, and the list goes on. You are developing the talent pool for your own business and for the Virgin Islands,” he said.
He further appealed to successful companies and business people, “now is the time to show that you truly care about this country, and about our children and our future generations.”
Meanwhile, more than $11M in contracts were awarded to four firms to take on various aspects of the redevelopment works.
Quality Construction Limited will construct the Technical Block to the tune of $4,336,427.12; Metro Construction Limited was awarded $2,496,690.84 for the construction of the Classroom Block North; Autland Heavy Equipment Company Limited will construct the Classroom Block South at a cost of $3,721,766.59; and finally, Sunleaf Construction and Northam Construction will receive a sum of $888,104.66 to jointly construct the Administration Block.
The Premier reminded that ESHS, formerly called BVI High School has benefitted all in the Virgin Islands as a premier institution where most of the persons in the VI received that education.
Premier Andrew A. Fahie called on local businesses and entrepreneurs to donate at-least $60,000 towards ESHS redevelopment works.