Preliminary work started this morning for the rehabilitation and reconstruction work on three school buildings at St. Peter Claver School in Punta Gorda.

Paul Mahung reporting...

“The preliminary work began with the removal of old and hazardous asbestos roofing from three buildings which requires temporary closure of school classes as explained by St. Peter Claver School Project Coordinator Fabian Cayetano. Fabian Cayetano – Project Coordinator

“A request has been made from the Ministry of Education for the closure of the school for the removal of the asbestos from St. Peter Claver school building, three of them on the following days, Friday May 18 which is Teachers Day, Monday May 21 which is Commonwealth Day which is a holiday and two non school days which are Tuesday May 22 and Wednesday May 23. On these days there will be no school and this will facilitate the removal of the asbestos from St. Peter Claver building.”

Because of possible negative effects on those removing the asbestos, safety and protection measures for those involved at the work site are implemented and adhered to as outlined by Anthony Mai of the Ministry of Environment.

Anthony Mai – Representative, Ministry of the Environment

“The Department of the Environment and the Solid Waste Management Authority has given strict procedure and conditions under which the removal and disposal of the asbestos must occur. For example every person removing the asbestos must use personal protective equipment for their own personal safety and also the Department has set certain restrictions in terms of setback from the building which no one will be able to enter. Also at the end of the day the asbestos will be placed within containers that is sealed with plastic, when all the asbestos has been removed, this container will be taken to the mile 24 dumpsite where it will be properly disposed of.”

For the safety of members of the public who need to pass by the buildings, the flow of traffic through the area has also been temporarily diverted as directed by Punta Gorda Transport Manager Ignacio Sho.

Ignacio Sho – Transport Manager

“I want to inform the public and the residents of Punta Gorda that the street will be closed on Friday 18th, Monday the 21st, Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd for the removal of the asbestos roof. That is the reason why certain streets will be blocked off and I want the public to adhere to the street that will be blocked off because it is for their personal safety. The following streets will be blocked off, corner Main Street and corner of Clement Street, corner of Jose Maria Street and corner of George Street and the street will be blocked off from six a.m. to six p.m from Friday to Wednesday. Also the James Bus manager is also notified that the runs will be changed for the duration of the project, starting Friday to Wednesday and after the project is completed the street will be opened as normal.”

Project officials here commented that the rehabilitation and reconstruction project of three Claver School buildings financed by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government of Belize and is being implemented by SIF with technical support from the Ministry of Environment and Solid Waste Management Authority.