The designs for the new National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) are said to be at the halfway mark and consultants have submitted a draft to the Project Support Services Unit for review.
Virella, Crespo and Associates of Puerto Rico were contracted on July 24 to undertake the design and project supervision works. The team is made up of highly skilled and experienced structural and civil engineers, a quantity surveyor, architects, electrical and mechanical engineers, an environmental engineer and a compliance specialist.
Director of Projects in the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Drexel Glasgow said that the project is on target and draft plans are now in place to be reviewed.
Dr. Glasgow said, “We are advancing at a good pace with this project. We understand the urgency in getting the NEOC facility constructed but we also want to ensure that the designs are given the attention needed.
He said Dr. Virella and his team have presented the initial designs inclusive of mechanical and electrical drawings and drafts for the Environmental Management Plan and the Health and Safety Plan on which feedback will be provided in the coming days.
Dr. Glasgow further added, “Considering the use of the facility before, during and after emergencies and disasters as well as to support continuity of Government operations, we will ensure that the designs meet the highest standards. We also want to ensure that following its completion the facility can perform efficiently in terms of energy and water consumption.”
He said additional funding is available to expand and upgrade emergency communications and early warning networks that are the central hub of any emergency operations centre.
“In addition to the design and construction of the facility, we are also procuring emergency communications and early warning equipment that will be needed to support the operations of the facility and the work of the DDM (Department of Disaster Management),” the Director of Projects stated. He added, “The procurement process for these items has already begun and we are in the last stages of securing the services of a project supervisor who will oversee the installation works. A lot is happening in this regard and we are excited that these projects are advancing at a steady pace.”
The design phase of the NEOC project is expected to conclude in December of this year followed by a tender process for the construction phase that meets the requirements of the BVI Government’s procurement standards as well as the requirements of the lending institution, Caribbean Development Bank.