POND ISLAND–The completion of the new Government Administration Building came one step closer to reality on Wednesday when Social and Health Insurances SZV signed agreements with three contractors for the completion of the building.
Prime Minister William Marlin expressed hope that the building will be completed for Government to move in by Emancipation Day on July 1, as he intends to move in by this date.
The three contractors who will be completing the construction are Windward Electrical Company (WEC), Lievense and Windward Roads.
SZV official Glen Carty told guests at the signing ceremony held at the building that the insurance service provider had been able to make a “beautiful investment,” for itself and for its clients. SZV, he noted, will make a six per cent return on its investment. In the process Government was able to settle some of its debts with SZV, which is the new owner of the building. Carty said efforts are being made to secure the guarantees and warranties that were originally established when the building had been constructed.
Finance Minister Richard Gibson said the building had been locked in a Gordian knot, which was almost impossible to loosen. He said, however, that the knot was finally “untangled.” He said many persons had passed the building and admired it and were cognisant that a lot of funds had been spent for its construction, but wondered why it was not occupied.
He said this was because of the Gordian knot the building had been in. Gibson is “very happy” that the knot has finally been loosened. Once the building is occupied, it will result in NAf. 300,000 monthly savings for Government. Gibson said there are many Gordian knots around the island and it will take Government some time to loosen them , but he assured that this will be done step by step. He thanked all those who had been involved in making this process a reality.
Health Minister Emil Lee said he was proud to be part of the team that untied the Gordian knot that stagnated the building leaving it empty for so many years. Untying the knot and freeing up resources for the country, Lee added, is an important step forward.
Lee said his role is to now ensure that SZV manages its investment well and to ensure that it is fiscally responsible. A building team is already in place to examine how to restore the guarantees that had been put in place for the building.
Prime Minister William Marlin referred to the occasion as “a grand moment” for the country as the building had been sitting unoccupied for some eight years. He thanked everyone who played a role in the process. Marlin looks forward to the building being ready by Emancipation Day on July 1, as he intends to move in by that date.
At the end of the signing Marlin briefly operated an excavator, and turned the sod marking the official start of works to get the building ready.
Source: The Daily Herald SZV, contractors sign contracts to finish new Administration building