New School Construction Projects Underway Across Territory

The Arthur A. Richards Jr. High School demolition is underway to make room for Arthur A. Richards K-8 School. (Submitted photo)

The Virgin Islands Department of Education continues to make progress on projects related to new construction and modernization of the territory’s public schools, according to the department.

St. Croix District 

Arthur A. Richards Jr. High School Demolition

Demolition is well underway and will continue for the next eight months at the Arthur A. Richards Jr. High School (now Arthur A. Richards PreK-8 School), which was destroyed by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. All permits were acquired successfully from the Department of Planning and Natural Resources. The contractor is Consolidated Asphalt and Civil Works LLC. Weekly meetings are held with the contractor, Department of Education personnel and Department of Public Works to ensure the proper execution of the project.

The goal is to relocate the Arthur A. Richards PreK-8 School to the current site of the Evelyn M. Williams Elementary School. Global design firm, the DLR Group, has been preparing the bridging documents that allows DOE to commence the solicitation process of procuring an architectural design firm as part of a design-build team to work on the official design of the new campus. Arthur A. Richards will be the first site in the territory that receives funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for its replacement.

Evelyn M. Williams Elementary School Demolition

The demolition of Evelyn M. Williams Elementary School, which was shuttered in 2015 due to irreparable structural damage, is expected to be completed by December 2021. The selected vendor for this project is Eleven Construction. Once funding has been acquired, work can commence at any time without interruption because the site is currently unoccupied. The DLR Group has been preparing the bridging documents because Evelyn Williams will be the new site of the Arthur A. Richards PreK-8 School.

St. Thomas-St. John District 

Raphael O. Wheatley Skills Center Modernization

The contract for the modernization of the building that currently houses the Raphael O. Wheatley Skills Center has been signed by Governor Albert Bryan Jr., and it was awarded to Custom Builders following the competitive bidding process. This site will be retrofitted to accommodate 9th grade students from Charlotte Amalie High School’s Building C when in-person instruction resumes. The Gladys Abraham Elementary School site will be the new location of the Skills Center. Walk-throughs of the Gladys Abraham site have been conducted and measures are being put in place to ensure adequate renovations are made to accommodate all Skills Center programs and to install adequate security features for the safety of students and staff.

Gladys Abraham Elementary School Modernization

The contract for the modernization of Gladys Abraham Elementary School, which will be the new site of the Skills Center, has been drafted and is pending funding to move forward. The winning contractor for the project is Custom Builders. The Gladys Abraham site will be the first site that is modernized and will be used to display the incorporation of the industry standards. Learn more about the DOE’s industry standards at

Charlotte Amalie High School Demolition

The contract for the demolition of the Charlotte Amalie High School is pending funding before work can begin. The winning contractor for the project is Grade All. The contractor stands ready to begin as soon as the funding has been secured. Funding challenges are the result of outstanding reimbursements from FEMA to DOE. The review process is complex, and ensuring DOE has the proper verification and documentation required by FEMA remains a critical component.

Temporary Curriculum Center at the Gramboko Building

FEMA has approved the use of the Gramboko Building as the temporary site of the Curriculum Center in the St. Thomas-St. John District. Currently, the project worksheet is moving through the approval process with FEMA. Once obligated, the RFP will be solicited for a contractor. This project has already been scoped and is ready to procure. The goal is to complete the project by December 2021.

For more information on the USVI’s plan to build new public schools, visit