Discussions with RG Falla concerning issues with the build of a new post-16 campus were ongoing “for a number of weeks” and, following the termination of the contract, “it is not yet possible to state with any accuracy what the cost implication of this will be”, the President of Education, Sport & Culture has said.
The Committee does not intend to share “specific details” of its discussions with the firm, and Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen added that further financial details relating to the project cannot be determined until “discussions with alternative contractors” have advanced.
The ESC President confirmed yesterday that the process of transitioning services from the existing Les Ozouets buildings has been completed, apart from those delivered at the Princess Royal Centre for Performing Arts which will continue to operate throughout any construction period.
Delays are anticipated for services returning to the site, which was originally supposed to be ready for September 2024, before being subsequently delayed until September 2025.
The States announced on Wednesday that the contract to construct the new education campus had been terminated, claiming RG Falla had “sought to unilaterally alter material contract terms agreed in the tender process” to the point it represented a high level of risk to the taxpayer.
However, RG Falla claims it sought to make alternations to the contract to ensure it was commercially viable and is disappointed by the States’ withdrawal after dedicating much time and resources to the project.
The Committee said just a few weeks ago that “there have been no material changes to the costs agreed by the States or the timeline we have previously announced publicly”.
Pictured: There are now big questions marks over whether the campus can be delivered on time, within budget, or in its current design form.
Deputy Dudley-Owen also rejected claims that a cheaper education transformation model should now be adopted, saying: “As I stated yesterday, we know this model remains the right fit for Guernsey and builds a firm foundation for the island’s future success.
“We are working to ensure that this issue does not have a wider impact on the implementation of that transformation of education, and do not anticipate a change to the date for the implementation of the new secondary school model.”
It had been claimed by Deputy Andy Cameron, a member of ESC, that the recently departed Committee Vice President, Deputy Bob Murray, had been the leading force behind the post-16 campus plans – who was confident of delivering the project on-time and within-budget.
Deputy Dudley-Owen said she is the Committee’s representative on the programmes’ board and that “there is no ‘lead’ role”.
Deputy Peter Roffey previously told Express that he had been assured that the project would return to the States’ Assembly should its original capital costs of around £100m prove insufficient.
As one of the leading construction firms in the island, RG Falla has been involved with many capital building projects as well as private contracts. It is currently working on Perrot Court for Elizabeth College.
The firm was not responsible for repurposing the swimming pool at Les Varendes - the completion of which has been delayed until December 2023.
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