GOVERNMENT has engaged the services of a local contractor to commence the removal of the fiberglass roofing at the George Odlum Stadium, which has been severely compromised by the elements and poses an immediate hazard to both staff and clients of the St. Jude Hospital housed at the facility.
A bird’s eye view of the roofing at the George Odlum Stadium reveals more clearly the threat posed by the fiberglass roofing on the facility. Gaping holes are clearly visible, compromising the integrity of the structure. Loose particles of fiberglass are already an issue at the facility…
This week Management and staff of the St. Jude Hospital met with the contractor, Brice and Company Ltd. and the Consultant Engineer on the project Norman St. Ville. St. Ville explained the reason for the joint meeting.
“The reason we’re discussing this with the staff is because we want their inputs as the contractors are here and they need to know the concerns of the staff so that they can put it into their program and make sure the way they take-off the roof sheeting will be in consideration of the staff concerns.”
St. Ville added that the contract is guided by the British standard for demolition agreed to for the project.
“So, within that specification the contractor is required to understand where he is working, what he is doing and he has to understand the processes that takes place. The work must go on while the hospital remains functional. No matter what the dangers of the site are, he has to put that into consideration within his program and he has to do that safely and make sure that he does not compromise anyone or anything that goes on, even the process for all the patients and staff of this facility.”
Chief Executive Officer at the St. Jude Hospital Verna Charles said staff expressed their concerns about their safety during the demolition process.
“What has been explained to the staff is there will be dialogue throughout the entire project with the contractor and the Ministry of Economic Development. We are aware that it is fiberglass material, we have conducted a study and also we will be putting in place measures for demarcation for redirecting our traffic so there will be diversion of both human and vehicular traffic.”
She said the contractors have further agreed to conduct most of the operations at night when there is a reduction in both human and vehicular traffic.
“So, anything which will tamper or interfere with operations we will be communicating with our contractors to be able to change the scope of the project to ensure that staff, patients and anyone accessing the compound is safe.”
The Consultant Engineer stressed that the roof is already compromised and is better to come down in a structured operation. However, he said once the roof comes down it will set a series of events into motion.
“But once the fiberglass sheets come off it means the process of removing the rest of the roof must follow in a sequence. It must follow. So, the moving of the hospital from this facility must happen. Once this sheeting comes off, that’s it — the sequence of events, you would say, has started. So, the hospital must be taken off from this stadium in the shortest possible time.”
The project is expected to be completed within the next three months.