Building Our Future - FAQ - General Questions

Why now?

The time has come! Now is the moment. All the preparation has been done and it is ready to come true. We have worked on a coherent project to offer our students brand new facilities for the next generation. Now is also good timing for the economic cycle. After six years of crisis, construction costs are low and builders are offering very competitive bids. But costs are likely to increase dramatically with the first signs of recovery.
On the funding side, the EURIBOR 12-month interest rate index has dropped to historic lows, and begun to climb over the last several months. Now is a good time to lock in a low, fixed-interest loan.

Why is all of the information arriving so late before this important vote?

Our intention was to present the project, its cost and funding to you this spring, as soon as we had these three pieces in place. But time and again, the funding eluded us. After talking a good game, our banks didn't offer us the funding they initially promised. Then the new social security law confronted us with an unexpected cost as big as the entire project. During the months that the funding was uncertain, we never stopped working on the construction plan itself, so that if funding became available, the execution plan would not be improvised.
We felt that it was useless to propose a project without showing that it could be paid for, so we reluctantly postponed the presentation several times. Then, we managed to secure loan proposals from two of the three banks in early May. Although the calendar was tight, the advantages of starting this summer rather than waiting 12 months for the next construction "launch window" justify the compressed discussion and voting schedule.

What does the project consist of?

The construction plan is a three phase programme that will supply the school with a complete new opportunity to facilitate learning.

Phase I (July 1st to December 18th) will consist of the demolition of Primary and Nursery and the subsequent construction of these classes plus the Agora, which will be the core of school life in the future.

Phase II (January 1st to March 31st) consists of remodelling the east wing of the secondary building, housing science, music, humanities and offices.

During phase III (April 1st to August 20th) we will remodel the west wing of the secondary school, providing new facilities for art, languages, English and Spanish. The administration building will be integrated with the Agora through new openings in the exterior wall of the side of the building that is farthest from the street. Unfortunately, the project does not include is any change to the sports pitches. Improving our sports facilities remains an important priority for the future.

Will the construction project hurt my child's education?

Our goal is that no student should be distracted by the construction project. Teachers will perform their lessons in the same way they have always done. The quality and excellence of our education will not be lessened during this period. Spaces will be redistributed during the period of the construction as well as the timetables. We will rent 12 modern, prefabricated classroom modules during the project. They fully comply with Education Ministry standards and are equipped with toilets, insulation, air conditioning, and Internet. Frankly, they will be more comfortable than the classes that the students currently use. The modules are substantial and nicely finished both inside and out, and shouldn't bring to mind the typical constructor's site office. In fact, it would be illegal to house students in a module that meets only the standards of a constructor's office. The modules will be located on the basketball pitch in a two-story configuration, housing Nursery through Year 6, plus History and Geography – the same classes that are now taught in the existing Primary and Nursery buildings.

How will the disruptions affect me as a parent?

During the time of the construction, there will be a lot less space for dropping off and picking up children. To alleviate traffic, we may work out a staggered after-school pick up schedule by age group. Extracurricular activity schedules may be modified as well. How long is it going to take? Fourteen months. Once having the approval from the EGM the construction will start right away! Phase I starts on 1 July, with demolition completed during the summer to minimise distractions when classes start in September. The same thing applies for phases II and III, with demolition scheduled for the Christmas and Easter breaks. By starting on 1 July 2014, we can inaugurate the new campus on 1 September 2015.


British School Of Gran Canaria
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