A PROJECT led by Christchurch-based REIDsteel to help rebuild a hurricane-hit primary school is nearing completion in the Caribbean.

The firm is leading a consortium of UK businesses which have joined forces to help reconstruct the Enis Adams Primary School on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

The collaboration involves Tata Steel, National Tube Stockholders, Joseph Ash Galvanizing, Euroclad Group Ltd, Ayrshire Metals Ltd, BAPP, Powell Gee & Co Ltd, Kestrel Liner Agencies and Meachers Global Logistics.

REIDsteel commercial director Tim Cook recently returned from Tortola where he saw how work was progressing under main contractor Newton Construction Co Ltd.

“It was great to see the new school in person," said Mr Cook.

“All of the steelwork has gone up and work is going well as it nears completion. The school is being rebuilt to modern standards and requirements with disabled facilities, and an additional second floor.

“As well as seven classrooms on the ground floor, it will have a science lab, IT Suite, library, large seminar room on the second floor plus a medical room.

“The school will be much improved on the previous building and will create a real legacy for the future.”

The school was completely destroyed when hurricanes Irma and Maria swept through Tortola in October 2017.

Virgin Islands businessman Peter Haycraft, a longstanding client of REIDsteel with his former business Road Town Wholesale, has pledged his own money for the reconstruction.

REIDsteel, which has 130 employees, designed and supplied steelwork, and rallied its suppliers to support the project too.

Now they are sending keepsakes to Tortola for a time capsule to be buried at the school before it is due to open to pupils in the Autumn.

Hesketh Newton, managing director of Newton Construction Co Ltd, said: “The school is taking shape with every passing day and will be superb once finished.”

Mr Haycraft said: “It is gratifying to see the Enis Adams school rise from the rubble as our community works to put the devastation of the hurricanes behind us.”

REIDsteel designed the new school to withstand 185 mile per hour winds and earthquakes based on Unified Building Code Occupancy Category III and IV.

All of its 26 buildings in the British Virgin Islands survived the hurricanes of 2017 with only superficial damage.

Mr Cook saw firsthand how the company’s structures had stood strong while others collapsed around them during his recent visit.