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New school takes shape with steel

A UK steel industry backed project to rebuild a hurricane-hit primary school is nearing completion in the Caribbean.

Dorset-based John Reid & Sons Ltd (REIDsteel) is leading a consortium of UK businesses – including Joseph Ash Galvanizing – which have joined forces to help reconstruct the Enis Adams Primary School on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

Other businesses include Tata Steel, National Tube Stockholders, Euroclad, Ayrshire Metal Products, BAPP, Powell Gee & Co Ltd, Kestrel Liner Agencies and Meachers Global Logistics.

REIDsteel commercial director Tim Cook has just returned from Tortola where he saw how work was progressing under main contractor Newton Construction Co Ltd.

Tim said: “It was great to see the new school in person.

“All of the steelwork has gone up and work is going well as it nears completion. The school is being rebuilt to modern standards and requirements with disabled facilities, and an additional second floor.

“As well as seven classrooms on the ground floor, it will have a science lab, IT Suite, library, large seminar room on the second floor plus a medical room.

“The school will be much improved on the previous building and will create a real legacy for the future.”

The school was completely destroyed when hurricanes Irma and Maria swept through Tortola in October 2017.

Virgin Islands businessman Peter Haycraft, a longstanding client of REIDsteel with his former business Road Town Wholesale, has pledged his own money for the reconstruction.

REIDsteel, based in Christchurch, Dorset, with 130 employees, designed and supplied steelwork, and rallied its suppliers to support the project too.

Now they are to send keepsakes to Tortola for a time capsule to be buried at the school before it is due to open to pupils in the Autumn.

Hesketh Newton, managing director of Newton Construction Co Ltd, said: “The school is taking shape with every passing day and will be superb once finished.”

Mr Haycraft said: “It is gratifying to see the Enis Adams school rise from the rubble as our community works to put the devastation of the hurricanes behind us.”

REIDsteel designed the new school to withstand 185 mile per hour winds and earthquakes based on Unified Building Code Occupancy Category III and IV.

All of its 26 buildings in the British Virgin Islands survived the hurricanes of 2017 with only superficial damage.

Mr Cook saw firsthand how the company’s structures had stood strong while others collapsed around them during his recent visit.

Others involved in the Enis Adams project are architect AEMC Architectural Services, Civil Engineer AEC Consulting Engineers Ltd, Electrical Barry’s Electrical Services, Reliable Plumbing, S & D Security, and the British Virgin Islands Ministry of Education and Culture. 

Tata Steel has helped with supply of floor decking and giving Colorcoat ® pre-finished steel for roofing, whilst Cardiff based Euroclad has given finished roof materials.

Thirsk-based National Tube Stockholders has given steel tube and steel hollow sections, Joseph Ash Galvanizing has hot-dip galvanised the structural steelwork and Ayrshire Metal Products has given secondary steel cold rolled purlins.

Barnsley-based BAPP has supplied industrial fasteners and bolts, Powell Gee of Shrewsbury has supplied fixings for floor decking and the external cladding envelope.

Kestrel Liner Agencies has helped with shipment and Meachers Global Logistics with shipping services.

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