The newly commissioned Scarborough RC Primary school will be monitored to check if defects in construction caused flooding of classrooms on Tuesday, following rainfall on Monday night.
So said Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, who is also the Secretary for Education, commenting on a 13-second video circulating on social media on Tuesday that showed a man sweeping water out of a classroom at the school.
“Where I live if the rains fall too heavily and the wind, I have to sweep water from my verandah, so it may not be a structural issue as such, it may very well be the nature of the rainfall as well as the nature of the winds. “That notwithstanding of course, it is a new school and if there is any defect, there is the whole issue of the defect liability period, we shall seek to treat with that,” Charles said.
Sources at the school told Newsday Tobago that rainfall on Monday night had caused the classrooms to be flooded.
The school, on Smithfield Road in Scarborough, was commissioned on August 29, and was built at a cost of $85 million.
Charles, speaking at the commissioning, had said that the school was now positioned in a new environment with a high degree of comfort, safety and ambience.
He said the school was OSHA compliant with easy access for the differently abled. He also noted the school was the first of its kind in Tobago, and by extension the country, boasting three storeys with 27 classrooms to accommodate 750 students, a staff room, a computer room, cafeteria, sick bay, library, chapel and an elevator.
“This journey to relocate the school to this location was not without many challenges. Many questions arose concerning the origin of the designs, the size of structure, the rooms to be included, the outdoor spaces, the road and the projected cost. “While the planning and decision making involved prolonged time, adjustments and reconsiderations, we are at last elated that the agreed structure was completed within time and budget,” he said.
At the commissioning ceremony, acting Principal Patricia Wafe had said it marked the beginning of a new chapter in the school’s history.
“Today is a day of hope for the future, interwoven with good memories of the old days. The building provides a much-improved learning environment for both the teachers and students,” Wafe said.
“Our teachers and students are all excited to move in, we are all well aware of the interaction between physical spaces and the learning environment. It must also be noted that modern facilities improve not only the school’s physical environment but also the students’ culture…” she said.