Gov’t seeks bids to lead next phase of new John Gray project

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Illustration of 'Project B' from the Outline Business Case for the New John Gray High School project.

The Cayman Islands government is taking another step forward with the new John Gray High School project, seeking bids to form a ‘multi-discipline consultancy services team’ to lead the refurbishment of the current John Gray campus for use by the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC) and other entities.

The refurbishment of the current John Gray campus and the relocation of CIFEC, Specialist Educational Needs Behavioral Units (SEN) and the Department of Education Services (DES) comprises Project B of the new John Gray plan.

The refurbishment work will begin after the new John Gray campus is completed and students have moved there from the current John Gray campus.

Project A is the construction of the new John Gray High School. Project C is the demolition of the current CIFEC and SEN facilities and the provision of a playing field and sports facility for the new John Gray.

The budget for Project B is $12.1 million. The budget for the total plan is unclear, but a ballpark figure of $40 million has been reported previously, in addition to the $54 million already spent as of 2012 — before construction was halted for several years, restarting in 2016.

*Editor’s Note: Please read this 29 Oct. story, where the total budget for Projects A, B and C is stated to be $106.2 million, in addition to the $54 million previously spent.*

For clarification, there are 3 distinct, but adjoining, sites within the scope of the new high school plan. Each of the sites has been (or will be) home to a high school named John Gray. The three sites are:

  • ‘Old John Gray site’: The site of the original John Gray High School on Walkers Road. It is currently home to CIFEC and SEN.
  • ‘George Hicks site’: The current site of John Gray High School on Academy Way, and formerly the campus of George Hicks High School.
  • ‘New John Gray site’: Now under construction, this will be the site of the New John Gray High School on Olympic Way.

Meanwhile, the DES (which will also move into the refurbished George Hicks site) is currently located in a government-owned building at the corner of Thomas Russell Avenue and Printer Way.

According to the new ‘Request for Quotation’ for Project B, the government is seeking a team of consultants to include “an on-island Lead Designer, working in partnership with other Consultancies who specialise in education and/or refurbishment projects; a Civil and Structural Engineer; an MEPF Engineer; an Interior Designer; an Acoustic Engineer; a Building Code Consultant, a Contract Administrator (CA) and Quantity Surveyor (QS) together with a Clerk of Works (CoW) for the Implementation phase. The MOE will contract with one entity, who shall be the Lead Consultant”.

The deadline for submissions is 13 Nov.

According to documentation supporting the RFQ, the nearby University College of the Cayman Islands is “not, at this moment, forming part of the Project B relocation programme”. The document notes that “expansion land elsewhere has been acquired” for UCCI. (Read the Cayman Current’ story on the land purchase for the UCCI expansion here.)

Another factor to the project is that the National Roads Authority intends to build a road upon completion of Project B. As of 2018, the proposed road was identified as linking Olympic Way to Academy Way along the western boundary of the George Hicks site.

(In September, John Gray Principal Jonathan Clark spoke to the Current about plans for the new high school. Read the interview here.)

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