The Government has awarded Casais (Gibraltar) the contract to build the two new comprehensive schools at a sum of £52,208,375. This follows a competitive bid process at which four contractors presented proposals.
The new Bayside and Westside Schools will be built at Waterport, to a design by GC Architects, which has been signed off by the Head Teachers of both schools. The final round of consultation resulted in some adjustments requested by the teachers from the schools, and these have now been incorporated.
Both schools will have extensive facilities for all subjects currently taught, and as well sports and performing arts facilities and, additionally, areas for vocational subject learning. There will be two shared areas, the library and a music recording studio.
This is the second contract to be awarded for the new schools, eight of which are to be built. Work is progressing well on the new Notre Dame School at Laguna and the process to identify the contractor for the new St Anne’s will shortly get under way. Planning for St Martin’s, Governor’s Meadow, Bishop Fitzgerald and the College is also progressing.
A Govt spokesperson said "It shows an unprecedented investment in the Education of our children, proving the GSLP/Liberal government’s commitment to our youth and the future of Gibraltar."
The Chief Minster, Fabian Picardo, said: "This is an investment like no other. It's an investment in our young people's education. The consultation process with the relevant teachers and the GTA has improved plans. Consultation in respect of the other school projects we announced will also result in positive changes to further improve those projects too. That includes the new St Martin's which is going to be a flagship that I know will be hugely welcomed by the children and parents of that great school. On the new Comprehensives, however, we are now moving to deliver that which others consider 'unrealistic' in a time scale which is ambitious but deliverable. I am very happy indeed to have authorised the award of this work and looking forward to seeing the young people and teaching profession of Gibraltar using the two new, state of the art, Comprehensives as the launch pad for their further education success. I also want to say a word of thanks to the technical ￼teams led by Hector Montado for the work done on plans and procurement to get works started and to those who have had to move out of the Waterport area to make way for the construction."
Minister for Education, Prof John Cortes, said: “I am very pleased indeed with progress on this project and look forward to seeing these two new schools rising from the ground. My own thanks to the team at Education, which includes those based at the Department and all the teachers and other staff who have contributed their thoughts and expertise, for the work done so far. There is a tremendous amount of work ahead, but the end will most certainly justify everyone’s efforts. We cannot even begin to realise what tremendous benefits will come from this exciting and ground breaking project.”