SINT MAARTEN (CUL DE SAC) – The Sint Maarten Vocational Training School (SMVTS) recently received four new classrooms upon the completion of the construction project by the contractor.
The outgoing Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the Honourable Wycliffe Smith was present last week for the symbolic handover of the building. The additional space provides the staff and students of the public secondary school much needed improvement in the facilities to accommodate the growth in the school’s population and the expanded curriculum.
In the last Council of Ministers’ press briefing on Wednesday, the outgoing Prime Minister/ Minister of ECYS Smith stated, “The management, staff, parents and students of this school will know the relief of having these additional spaces for an enhanced teaching-learning experience. This is still part of Phase 1 of the Improvement plans for the SMVTS. Phase II comprises curriculum reform and improvement of teaching skills.”
The plans for the construction of these classrooms began in 2013 and led to a public bidding process in February 2015. The bid was initially won by Sabrenzo Landscaping Construction. However, when that company defaulted on the contract, a new bid was awarded to Eric Construction in 2017. Then- Minister ECYS, drs. Jorien Wuite placed 1 million guilders on the budget to ensure that the funds would be available to complete the project. After an initial deposit was made, the contractor began the work and received reimbursements for invoices submitted intermittently. The minister would like to commend the Contractor, Mr. Omar Ottley for his commitment to seeing this project through and a job well done.
Due to a change in the quality of the fencing from link to Dijtham fencing and the change of the roofing from galvanized zinc to concrete, an additional sum will be required for the connection of utilities. Once the utility meters have been installed, the rooms will be ready for use. Smith concluded that, “The onus is on the management and the Division Public Education and the future Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, to continue to implement the plans to realise an improved delivery of the education system for our public secondary school.”