The estimated cost for the proposed Basseterre High School doubled in one year, from EC$40 million to EC$80 million, and now the Director of Public Works Cromwell Williams has confirmed that the cost of the project will most likely balloon even more.
The school can potentially be an EC$100 million project, a cost to be borne by taxpayers.
Local Accountant Schneidman Warner questioned whether costs for all the upgrades and mitigation factors that have been recommended by the Environmental Impact Assessment have been included in the most recent estimate.
In response to Warner’s question, Public Works Director Williams revealed that the design and Environmental Impact Assessment study cost approximately US$2.6 million dollars and that the recommended costs were not included in the estimate.
There are many who argue that building on the Basseterre Valley Aquifer is an avoidable cost, as many millions have to be spent to mitigate various concerns.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) were among several institutions that suggested that the old Basseterre High School grounds could be used, once recommendations were adhered to.