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School porch is in a hazardous condition, warns carpenter

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A decayed roof at East End Primary School presents a safety hazard, according to carpenter and concerned parent Thomas Harvey, who compiled his own engineering report following an inspection of the site last month.

Mr Harvey spoke out following an announcement by Public Works Minister Trevor Moniz that $1.27 million in refurbishments to the Island's public schools would be completed in time for the start of the new school year on Friday.

The St George's resident said an engineering report commissioned from Brunel Limited confirmed that a roof covering the school's main walkway appeared in imminent danger of collapse.

“I'm speaking as a parent and taxpayer,” he told The Royal Gazette. “I have a daughter going into year P1 and my oldest in P3. If they're not going to stop and do something, I will delay the start of school.”

According to an August 27 survey by Brunel structural engineers, signs of “extensive rotting” were observed in wall plates, joists and beams along the porch roof at the school. Support columns also have corroded connection plates.

“Based on the above, Brunel Ltd believes that the existing porch roof is not structurally sound in its current state, and it is recommended that the roof be removed and replaced,” the report concludes.

Insisting he had not received a satisfactory answer from Government, Mr Harvey called for the roof to be cordoned off until the walkway is in fit shape. Late yesterday Government confirmed it was working to repair the porch.

“What I'm scared of is this thing is simply going to come down,” said Mr Harvey. “I don't understand how Government can come out with a statement saying the schools are ready when there is rotting visible in the roof of this walkway.”

The independent recommendation forwarded to this newspaper was for the roof to be propped, and the porch to be cordoned off at a minimum distance of ten feet from the outer edge of its roof.

Mr Harvey said he'd shared his concerns with both Mr Moniz and Education Minister Nalton Brangman.

Recent refurbishments at the school have included painting and work on the school field.

Government issued a statement yesterday, stating: “The Ministry of Public Works is working to repair the porch at East End Primary. The Principal of the school is aware of the planned repairs and has agreed the way forward with the Ministry.”

Concerned parent: Thomas Harvey points out rot in roof supports at the East End Primary School.
Concerned parent: Thomas Harvey points out piles of rubbish at the East End Primary School.
(Photo by Mark Tatem) Concerned parent: Thomas Harvey points out cracked pavement at the East End Primary School.
Concerned parent: Thomas Harvey points out rot in roof supports at the East End Primary School.
Concerned parent: Thomas Harvey at the East End Primary School where he has questioned Government on the readiness of the school after finding rotten roof supports.
(Photo by Mark Tatem) Concerned parent: Thomas Harvey points out rot in roof supports at the East End Primary School.
(Photo by Mark Tatem) Concerned parent: Thomas Harvey at the East End Primary School where he has questioned government on the readiness of the school after finding rotten roof supports.
(Photo by Mark Tatem) Concerned parent: Thomas Harvey inspects broken wire fencing at the East End Primary School.

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Published September 04, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 04, 2013 at 12:19 am)

School porch is in a hazardous condition, warns carpenter

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