Defective work on new Msida primary school has already cost €2.3 million

The Education Ministry is still considering opening court case against architects responsible.


Serious structural defects in the construction of a new Msida primary school, sections of which had to be demolished, have already cost taxpayers the enormous sum of €2.3 million.

Despite declarations that the government will open a court case against the architects commissioned by the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools that it believes are mainly accountable for the costly debacle, the only tangible action taken so far was the sending of an official letter.

The new Msida Primary School was slated to open its doors in 2019 but it is still under construction and is now expected to cost taxpayers more than double its original budget.

Education Minister Clifton Grima has now told Parliament that the mistakes made at the school have already cost taxpayers €2.3 million. Grima was, following weeks of refusing to answer questions about the project, replying to a parliamentary question tabled by Opposition MP Joe Giglio.

Ministers Clifton Grima and Owen Bonnici laying the cornerstone at the new Msida primary school back in 2020.

Grima explained how when it was determined that parts of the building were structurally defective, sections had to be demolished and rebuilt.

The original contractor, C&F Building Contractors, was asked to carry out the job and the bill for that partial demolition alone amounted to over €300,000.

The total estimated cost to correct the structural defects is now expected to surpass the €2 million mark in additional construction work, the minister also confirmed.

Pressed to state who was responsible for the debacle, Grima said the FTS is holding architect Frank Ellul of Made Studios and his team responsible.

An artistic impression of what the new Msida primary school should be today. Instead, it’s still a construction site.

A court case has not yet been opened, Grima confirmed but said FTS has filed an official letter against the architects.

The Shift has already reported that work was halted for several months over disagreements on how to proceed but that the project has now been awarded by direct order to a construction company controlled by Gozitan construction magnate Joseph Portelli.

The minister, however, refrained from giving details on that and said the school is still in its construction phase and its completion “has not been contracted yet”.

The project was first announced in 2017 with then-education minister Evarist Bartolo said the new school would begin enrolling students in 2019. Work started in 2018 but the school is nowhere near completion.

The original tender for the school’s construction amounted to €3.3 million but the latest direct order given to PRA Construction Ltd for the same work will now cost €7 million.

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Paul Pullicino
Paul Pullicino
3 months ago

They know how to wrangle 270,000 euros out of EU funds and into their wife’s pocket, how to steal national heritage objects, how to build illegal swimming pools in their villas, but these socialist phoneys cannot handle the job of actually building a school for the education of children of normal people.

Joe l ghasfur
Joe l ghasfur
3 months ago

Dawn tajjbin bis biex jifanfraw u jaqtghu is sigareli. Ministri bla idea ta xejn u inkompetenti ma jistawx jaraw kamera ghax joxew quddiema u icartu halqhom. Miriam Dalli,Clifton Grima, Owen Bonnici,Clint l ghawdxi dawn il kings tal blaff. Qeghdin hemm ghax ma hemm hadd kapaci jmexxi. Mur gib lil Mintoff ghadu hajj kemm joqmos.
Poplu malti tibqax rieqed,qum mir raqda li tinsab fiha. Mhux il boghod ser tibki u uliedna ser jisthuna ghax ma huma ser issibu xejn. Diga qeghdin tard.

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