Written by 5:03 pm Music

Section of Parkinson to be multicultural creative centre

Drivers and passers-by on the highway will, in just a few weeks, see activity on the constructing on the Parkinson Memorial School which is to be converted to a multicultural creative centre for the scholars of the college and the encompassing community.

“The technique of tendering and choosing contractors for the project has taken us slightly longer than expected especially with the Covid-19 restrictions last yr” stated Anthony Ali, CEO and Managing Director of Goddard Enterprises Ltd (GEL), the corporate that has undertaken to fund and oversee the development of the project as a part of its one hundredth anniversary celebrations.  GEL adopted the college just a few years ago and gets involved in several projects with the scholars.

“After we were planning our anniversary celebrations, we decided that we were going to do that for the youngsters of Parkinson and for the youngsters of Barbados.  Children are gifted otherwise, and we all know that Parkinson particularly has turned out some very talented musicians and entertainers in addition to managers of the humanities. So, we thought that there was no higher gift to the youngsters of this area than to revive and construct this centre as an anniversary gift” stated Ali.

The Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training (METVT) has expressed gratitude to Goddard Enterprises Ltd (GEL) for the investment in and commitment to the restoration and upgrade of the “Block D’ constructing positioned at the college.  The re-purposed constructing will cater to the creative prowess of the scholars as they engage in a various arts curriculum inside a custom-designed, state-of-the-art facility.  Although the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic have delayed the anticipated start of the renovation, the Ministry said it was committed to the duty and warranted the general public and its partners in education that this was a project that will likely be useful to the scholars of the Parkinson Memorial School and the encompassing community within the short, medium and long run.”    

GEL celebrated its one hundredth anniversary on thirteenth October 2021 and announced the 1.2-million-dollar refurbishment of Block D at the college in association with the Ministry.  The block had been condemned for over 20 years due to septic tank issues and problems with the exhaust fumes from vehicles on the highway, which affected each children and teachers at the college.

Contractors meet with GEL Officials on the GEL board room to finalise plans for the development at the college (from left) Mark Owens and Reon Cornelius of Empire Constructing and Construction, Edwin Brooks and Kamal Vaughan of Williams Electrical, Maurice Arthur GEL Facilities Manager, Valerie Lovell GEL Head Office People Coordinator, Jared Odle and Alex Guppy of EMCE Ltd and Anthony Ali GEL CEO/MD. Project Manager Graham Bethel, Tristan Gibbs and Parkinson Board Chairman – Ian Stewart and Principal Ian Holder all joined the meeting via Zoom.

A mobilisation meeting was recently held with the contractors who won the tender bids to work on the project, in an effort to set timelines and in some instances request new quotes due to price changes since their bids were submitted.

Attributable to budget overruns, consequently of the value increases out there, it was decided to divide the project into two phases: phase 1 will include the works to make the lecture rooms functional, together with preliminary works and containments for phase 2; phase 2 will include the air con, special furnishings and fixtures to rework the space right into a full creative centre.

This primary round of construction is specializing in phase 1 to offer the college a functioning block as teaching space is proscribed. With phase 2 being done later as more funding is secured. The firms who’ve been contracted to this point for the project are: Quantity Surveyor & Construction Project Manager – Graham Bethel of Total Project Services Limited; General Contractor – Empire Constructing & Construction; Electrical Contractor – Williams Electrical; Architect – Tristan Gibbs of Architecture of the Knight; MEP Engineers – EMCE Ltd.-Electrical & Mechanical Consulting Engineers Limited; and Structural Engineers – ACI – Adams Consulting International.

The phase 1 of the project will see the erection of the next classrooms, ground floor: Performing Arts Classroom – Steel Pan; Steel pan storage room; Performing Arts Classroom – Theatre; Female and male theatre changing rooms; Performing Arts Classroom – Music; Music instruments storage room; Male bathrooms. On the primary floor will likely be three computer music labs; two computer storage rooms; a visible arts classroom and feminine bathrooms.       

Construction for this a part of the project is anticipated to take roughly three months after commencement. (PR)                      

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