A Year After Being Rebuilt, Leonidas Briceño School Already Has Cracked Ceiling

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Members of the Board of Education are worried about the poor condition of the drop ceiling that extends down the halls of Leonidas Briceño School in Nicoya because it could be dangerous.

The Voice of Guanacaste toured the school’s facilities on January 21st and could see that the vast majority of the ceiling tiles, mainly those that are placed over the corridors that connect the pavilions, are cracked and out of place, threatening to fall into the passageway.

According to Ezequiel Palma, president of the school’s board of education, reconstruction of the center was completed in November of 2013 by CBC construction company for the amount of ¢866,741,275 (about $1,635,360).

However, less than a year after the school was rebuilt, the locks, sewers, pipes, pieces of the toilets  and the ceiling have already needed to be replaced.

Palma explained that these problems were detailed by the board in a document sent to CBC toward the end of 2014, and the company corrected everything they requested them to do, except for the repairs to the ceiling, because the contract stipulates that CBC committed to guaranteeing the construction work at the school with a one year guarantee.

This period ended in December of 2014, according to the board of education.

Palma indicated that, to date, they have not received confirmation from the company regarding when they will begin the repairs to the ceiling, so during the last week of January, they decided to start the work on their own.

The school board will use part of the school’s 2015 annual maintenance budget to do this work. Afterward, CBC should reimburse the board the total amount spent.

In addition to these inconveniences, Palma said they initiated a lawsuit against CBC for ¢25,000,000 (about $47,000) because they finished the work 40 days after the date stipulated in the contract.

For her part, Rosa Maria Jimenez, regional director of the Ministry of Public Education (MEP), said she was unaware of the school’s situation. However, she said that they will make a report about the school’s situation to the Department of Infrastructure and Educational Equipment (DIE).

Schools Will Start Classes Without Health Permits or Outside of Facilities

Some educational centers in the canton of Nicoya will begin the 2015 school year outside of the school facilities, and other schools will open their doors without health permits.

This was explained by Zinnia Cordera, director of the Nicoya Area of Health, who indicated that the schools of San Martin, Samara and Nambi lack the operating permit required by the Ministry of Health.

Other centers, like the schools of Las Pozas and Corralillo in the San Antonio district, will start classes outside of their facilities because the original structures don’t meet the minimum conditions to operate.