It was built for a period of three years, in order to alleviate the serious lack of school places in the south of Tenerife at the beginning of the century, and the next year will turn 20. The IES Guaza, popularly known as the institute of the barracks, In Arona, the only educational center built entirely with prefabricated modules that remains open on the Island, it will foreseeably close its doors next year after the Ministry of Education and the construction company, Proyecon Galicia SA, reached an agreement in principle to complete the work of the new Cho-Parque La Reina center, paralyzed for more than two years after the company requested a modification of the project and an upward revision of the budget.
The building should have been completed in January 2020 and currently just over 50% of the work has been executed by the winning company, which won the tender with an economic offer 31% lower than the amount established in the specifications (5,885,885 euros compared to 8,567,375 euros, without IGIC, which appeared in the contest rules).
The socialist deputy Yolanda Mendoza told this newspaper yesterday that the negotiations held in recent months between the technicians of the Ministry and the company “have come to fruition.” The aronera parliamentarian, who has been denouncing the precarious situation of IES Guaza students for years, pointed out that there is already a “free way” for the pace of work to increase as of September, after both parties have agreed on the partial modification of the project. One of the spokespersons for the Association of Mothers and Fathers of Students confirmed to this newspaper that in recent days “a little more movement” has been seen in the work.
The deputy explained that the law allows two contractual modifications of up to 10% of the budget. “It cannot be varied more than 20% and it has to be done separately,” said Mendoza, who underlined the “good predisposition” of the parties to close an agreement and especially thanked the “great human quality” of the management team of IES Guaza .
The state of the institute’s facilities, built on the basis of prefabricated modules, has generated numerous protests and mobilizations in recent years by students, parents and teachers, fed up with the “third world barracks” and, above all, with promises unfulfilled. The ground moves when you walk, the walls vibrate, the rainwater seeps into the classrooms and forces classes to be suspended, the pipes in the bathrooms burst, lamps have fallen and when the wind blows strongly the sheets of the ceilings have come to detach, with the consequent risk for the integrity of students, teachers and employees.
This is the panorama described by the students who go daily to train inside the container classrooms and who on most days breathe from air conditioning in class and endure the sun and suffocating heat in common areas. “When it’s hot it’s a greenhouse and when it’s cold it’s a freezer”, summarized one teacher.
The representatives of the Association of Mothers and Fathers of Students have repeatedly expressed their tiredness and at the end of last year they transferred their complaint to the Deputy of the Common. They have been fighting for more than 10 years and have confessed that they feel “helpless, powerless and abandoned. ”Due to the delay in the work of the new institute that must replace the sheet metal building.
Mothers and fathers are “tired of excuses” and of “passing the buck to each other.” A spokeswoman for the AMPA told DIARIO DE AVISOS yesterday that “they are playing with the lives of our children, last year a lamp fell down, thank goodness that no child was caught; What are we waiting for, for there to be an accident? ”.
Teachers, students, mothers and fathers know that the academic year 2021-2022 will continue in the old facilities, with the aggravation that the number of students will increase to 600 (double the capacity established in 2002 when it opened its doors), as to join the first year of high school, which forces to establish a morning shift for first and second year of Secondary, and in the afternoon for third and fourth, in addition to the aforementioned high school, “when there are only two bathrooms!”, denounces the AMPA.
The President of the Government, Ángel Víctor Torres, visited the work on December 27, 2019, accompanied by the Mayor of Arona, José Julián Mena. In front of a building without workers or machines (the work was already stopped) the chief executive was then in favor of reaching a “friendly agreement” with the construction company so that the works could be resumed and could be finished “within the year 2020”, although he also warned the company that, if that agreement was not reached, the “appropriate decisions” would be taken. Fathers and mothers asked him during the visit for “maximum administrative agility” to unblock the situation.
The situation of the IES Guaza and the works of the new Cho-Parque La Reina center have also been the subject of debate in the Parliament of the Canary Islands, where the Minister of Education, Manuela Armas, acknowledged at the end of May that he had been sent to the company the “last modified” and warned that “if we do not obtain the approval we will have to put it out to tender and the deadlines will be much longer.” Armas confessed to the Chamber that IES Guaza ranks first on his department’s list of concerns.
In said parliamentary session, the socialist deputy Yolanda Mendoza, stated that “the poverty of the educational infrastructure that Guaza presents responds to the neglect and neglect that the south of Tenerife has been suffering for many years”, while Rosa Dávila (CC) reproached He told the counselor for his “lack of information” with the families and invited her to visit the barracks, where “the conditions are inhumane,” he said.
For her part, Luz Reverón (PP) made a “request” to Manuela Armas: “I would like you to go see the students, look at their faces and tell them when they are finally going to have this new center”. Vidina Espino (Cs) referred to the situation as “unsustainable”, although she recalled that it is not an isolated event in the Archipelago. Francisco Déniz (Podemos) reproached CC for his “lack of self-criticism” when he recalled that the institute has been open for 20 years. “We are facing a situation of frank irresponsibility on the part of the company and those who governed, tendered and allowed this mess.”
From Nueva Canarias, Carmen Hernández pointed out that “the law should promote or facilitate actions to prevent the interests of the businessman, no matter how much he has won a contest, harming the interests of hundreds of students and their families”, and Melodie Mendoza (ASG) expressed its “concern” and hoped that the works “resume as soon as possible and the demands of the educational community are a reality in the short term.”