School Officials Scheduling Repairs for Guy Benjamin Leaky School Septic System

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A septic leak at GBS has been left the playground wet with sewage.

As the old saying goes — the grass is always greener over the septic trank.

But, you might not want your kids to play on it.

At the Guy H. Benjamin School in Coral Bay, the elementary school students have had great success growing bananas in the garden in their tree-shaded playground — it happens to be next to the school’s leaking septic field.

Meanwhile, a shiny, swingless swing set stands in a sunny corner of the playground next to the garden waiting to be installed in the final stage of a community-funded and conducted improvement program for the hardscrabble playground which began several years ago and was funded by annual “flotillas” by the Coral Bay Yacht Club.

Bids Sought
Now, V.I. Education Department officials have begun the process of seeking bids for the work to repair the septic system and have included the work in its 2007 Summer Repair and Maintenance Projects.

“It’s long overdue and I hope it gets completed this year,” said acting GBS Principal Dionne Wells.

Bid packages, which contain “information related to contractor qualifications, requirements and the scope of work require for each school,” were available as of June 6 and a pre-bid conference is scheduled for June 13, at the St. Thomas Curriculum Center. The deadline for submission of bids is Friday, June 15, at 2 p.m. Bids will be opened on Monday, June 18.

Wells said Joseph Sibilly, Deputy Superintendent of Schools for the St. Thomas-St. John District, “assured” her “most” of the items on her maintenance list would be completed in the summer maintenance program.

After an early June fund raiser by Coral Bay’s Skinny Legs bar and restaurant, more community-funded improvements are in store for the school facility.