Five years and millions wasted: Msida primary school project at a stalemate

Work on a new 500-student Msida government primary school that was to have opened its doors in 2019 is once again at its inception stage with progress on the project having hit a brick wall.

The contractors that were originally awarded the construction tender are now refusing to agree on the new completion terms the government has set.

Two attempts by the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools (FTS) to award a new €6 million contract for the building’s completion by direct order failed and were cancelled earlier this month.

Sources close to the FTS told The Shift that the contractors, C&F Building Contractors Ltd, will not agree on the FTS’ new terms because they feel the targets are impossible to achieve.

“This project has been a complete mess and a waste of taxpayers’ money from day one,” an FTS insider told The Shift. “It continues to highlight, if there was any need, the dire state of mismanagement at the FTS but, so far, no one is being held accountable.”

€3.3 million down the drain and more to come

It was announced back in 2017 that the old Msida Primary was to be demolished and that a new school on the site would open for students in 2019.

Demolition and construction work began in 2018 through a €3.3 million tender awarded to C&F.

But, halfway through the project, the whole new building had to be demolished because of severe structural defects that became apparent during the construction phase.

According to the government, the problems were not the contractor’s fault but were allegedly down to the design and supervision carried out by the project’s architects – MADE Studios, run by architects Frank Ellul and Luke Lapira.

Both the FTS and Education Minister Clifton Grima have said they have stopped all contractual agreements with MADE Studios and that steps are being taken, including legal action, on the shoddy work and extra costs that will be incurred.

Part of the new Msida primary building being demolished. Photo: Newsbook

The FTS did not specify what legal steps it has taken against MADE Studios when asked by The Shift.

In the meantime, the FTS tried to give the same building contractors a new direct order to continue with the work.

Instead of the original €3.3 million contract that has now been wasted, it issued a direct order for nearly double the price, almost €6 million. The reason behind the steep increase is not known.

The contractor still refused the terms and has informed the FTS, “C&F Building Contractors Ltd will agree to proceed with the works as requested by the FTS subject to the complete removal of the contractor’s deliverables commitment plan”.

This has now placed the project at a complete stalemate five years down the road from the school’s original completion deadline.  In the meantime, the area’s students will be forced into more years of being scattered across schools in different towns.


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1 month ago

if the projects weren’t up to standard, we should ask for compensation money, why hasn’t this been done? perhaps to enrich the pockets of some friends?
The same friend who with this money will have built other private apartments to be put up for sale, it is easy to understand where the rottenness is in Malta, the problem that the government does not move because the rottenness is inside the government…

1 month ago
Reply to  Salvu.q

It is the proof that persons in the command chain get thick brown envelopes.

1 month ago

This government cannot even build a school .
A building in Kordin Industrial Zone, Collapses.
The Msida School was so shoddy that it had to be demolished.
But getting their personal bank accounts fatter was no problem.
The ROAD MAP was to the BANK.
One day , the CARD go to JAIL will turn up.

1 month ago

Minister For Education.
Have you lost the plot?

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