In a Ministerial Statement on the House of Assembly Floor Lt. Col. David Burch, the Minister of Public Works spoke about the Future Plans of T. N. Tatem.
Mr. Speaker, contrary to the assertions being made in some quarters that the building is mold infested and should be demolished – the facts simply don’t bear that out. Let me quote an excerpt from the Environmental and Air Quality assessment report of February 19th, 2019: Quote:
It is our opinion that everything that we observed is directly related to an inadequate general and routine maintenance at the facility. The issues that we noted today are the same issues which we noted back in 2013 and are the same issues that closed the school in 2017.
1) Water leaks associated with poorly maintained roofs, wall cracks, air-conditioning and plumbing 2) Windows and window screens which are either inoperable or have limited operation 3) Inoperable mechanical systems 4) Inappropriate storage 5) Accumulation of waste 6) Inadequate housekeeping
It is our opinion that if these items are adequately addressed and maintained on an ongoing basis, the issue of mold and poor indoor air quality (IAQ) would not return.
Mr. Speaker, Pembroke Hamilton Club (PHC) (let me declare my interest as a member of PHC) have had a long standing lease arrangement with the Ministry of Public Works for the use of the playing field for both training and their multitude of community football programmes – so it was a natural fit to approach them first to see if there could be some temporary expanded use of the school facilities, that could assist with their programmes.
Needless to say they were very receptive of the offer and we have provided use of classroom space for their after school programmes and toilet facilities.
Mr. Speaker, Bermuda’s most outstanding professional boxer, Nikki Bascome runs a boxing gym – that also caters to young folk interested in the sport, and Cervio Cox is running a fitness gym in the gymnasium that is geared more to the casual fitness buff rather than the hard core gym rat.
Mr. Speaker, I repeat that all of these activities are under license to July 31st, 2020. Now that a final decision has been made – we will enter into discussion with them about their future.
Mr. Speaker, we will move as fast as we can to get the building ready for future uses while taking into consideration suggestions made by members of the public and colleagues.