Facilitated by the Custos of Trelawny, at the request of the Principal and Chair of Governors, a visit was made to Manning’s School by the FGSJ. The purpose was to assess the condition of the Thomas Manning Building that houses the Library and classrooms.
Built in 1911, the building sits within a site which has been the location of the school since it was founded in 1738. It is an iconic building and is one of seven historic educational buildings listed by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT). The design is of typical of the late Victorian period with gabled wings, a matching gabled porch with deep verandas to provide shade. Largely constructed of timber, it sits on a masonry base.
The building’s timber frame is showing considerable distress in a number of places with leaning and bulging probably caused by inadequate support – the root cause was assessed as likely to be termite damage. The roof shingles (replaced ten years ago) have begun to fail badly – the cause of this is probably poor specification and workmanship.
The FGSJ recommended removal of cladding and floor level boards at intervals and an inspection of the roof trusses in order to ascertain the extent of the termite damage. Once this inspection and assessment has been carried out a more precise understanding of the extent of repair required will be possible leading to a more accurate costing of repairs. Meanwhile the school will arrange for termite infestation to be treated and send copies of any drawings and Quantity Surveyor’s costings to the FGSJ to consider and provide further advice on.