By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
ESTIMATED costs for the proposed Agriculture and Marine Sciences school have tripled as officials work to finalise plans for the vocational institute set to open next year.
Minister of Agriculture V Alfred Gray yesterday confirmed that construction was already underway to resurrect old buildings at the former agricultural research facility in North Andros.
“Construction is in its embryonic stage,” Mr Gray said.
“As we discuss the school more things have been enlightened to us, so what we thought we could do has been broadened by multiples. By that I mean if we intended to put five buildings for teachers, now we may have to put 10 buildings for teachers.”
Mr Gray added: “The figures are being toyed around between $12 and $20 million, so $4 million is not going to do it, the base will be $12 million but the ceiling we hope will be $20 million, that will give us a good educational school for marine science and agriculture.”
According to Prime Minister Perry Christie, just over $4 million has been allocated in the 2013/2014 national budget to establish the new school.
Mr Gray said: “We’re not going to focus on the price because the Bahamian people will afford it, hopefully we’ll get some help from international donors, but even if they don’t help us we are resolved as a government to ensure that we put the Bahamas on a path to feeding itself in the future.”