Mister Speaker, in May 2021, I provided an update on the repairs and upgrades to the Territory’s nine (9) community centres to this Honorable House. I will now provide new information on the progress that has been made since that time and especially in light of the hurricane season that is now in effect.
Let me begin with repairs and upgrades to the West End Community Centre. This project was funded by the European Union (EU) and was completed earlier this year. Works done to this facility included repairs to the electrical and plumbing system, kitchen cabinets and hurricane shutters. The building received a new concrete roof over the porch and a new restroom on the top floor. While the keys have yet to be handed over to the Government of the Virgin Islands, the facility can be used as a shelter if the need arises. I can’t say that the Representative for the First District is holding the key handover process back, he would like to receive this key.
The Valarie O. Thomas Community Centre is another project that is being funded by the European Union. This community centre received repairs and upgrades to the roof, kitchen cabinets, bathrooms, hurricane shutters, electrical and plumbing system. Works were scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2021, however, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and other external factors, the hurricane shutters and other important materials were delayed. As a result, the estimated end date for completion of this project is now August 27th, 2021. Just two week away. I am sure Mister Speaker, the Honourable Member and the people of the Third District would be pleased to hear of this progress as we have to return some functions to this centre.
Next, I turn my attention to the Purcell Community Centre. This project is also being funded by the EU. Improvements to this facility includes the installation of new windows and doors, upgrades to the kitchen cabinets and bathroom facility and repairs to the electrical and plumbing system. The repairs to the perimeter fence is also included and welcomed as it would provide another layer of security to this facility. According to the Project Manager - Mr. Ronnie Lettsome, tenders for the repairs were received and evaluated. A final decision on the successful contractor is pending. I expect to receive some updates in the coming weeks on the selection.
I am pleased to report that repairs to the Long Trench Community Centre is also on the list of projects that is being funded by the EU.
The scope of works on this project includes improvements to the kitchen cabinets, bathrooms, electrical and plumbing system, site drainage and perimeter fence. According to the Project Manager, the project will be publicly tendered in the near future.
For the residents of the Seventh and Eighth electoral districts, the representatives and the people in those communities would be pleased to hear repairs to the East End / Long Look Community Centre begun during the 1st week of June 2021.
The works to be done includes the installation of new windows and doors, repairs to the kitchen cabinets and bathroom facilities, painting and other general repairs. Unfortunately, work is not progressing as fast as we would have wanted it to go.
There is a delay in the ordering of the windows, doors and other materials which is beyond our control and may ultimately affect the expected completion date. We will continue to monitor this project as this community centre is critical to the Seventh and Eighth Districts. I want to assure the Members of this Honourable House and the residence of these two communities, that the Ministry of Health and Social Development remains committed to completing this project in a timely manner and all efforts will be exerted so to do.
As it relates to the repairs to the Brewers Bay Community Centre, Olle Group (BVI) Limited was selected to provide the quantity surveying services to determine the estimated cost of this project. The project has been completed in terms of the design drawings by the Adams design team, it has been handed over for the particular quantity surveying so it would then go out for bid. Again, the Ministry knows of the importance of this project together with the Cane Garden Bay Community Centre to the residents and people of District Two. All will be done within the Ministry to make sure that these are completed.
The as built drawings for the Cane Garden Bay Community Centre was recently completed. The Ministry of Health and Social Development is currently in the process of preparing the draft tender documents and other supporting documents which will later be forwarded to the procurement office where it will be publicly tendered.
The repairs to the Anegada Community Centre is the final project on my list which is being funded by the EU. The works to be completed includes installation of windows and hurricane shutters and improvements to the bathrooms, electrical and plumbing system.
The perimeter fence will also receive some much needed attention. According to the Project Manager, a contractor was selected; however, since the process has yet to be finalised, I am unable to provide the name of the contractor and the estimated start date at this moment. We would ensure that this project moves along now that we may have a chance given the COVID-19 situation.
Mister Speaker, I do not have any updates on the North Sound Community Centre at this time as the repairs to this community centre was completed in 2020.
I as well as all of the citizens of this Territory are mindful of the unprecedented times in which we live. We also remember all too well the events of 2017 that is the hurricanes and the devastating impacts that they had on this Territory.
While I know as the Minister I wish I could be here reporting that all our community centres are prepared and ready for use during this hurricane season, I certainly am proud of the achievements we have made so far, because although we are not where we want to be, we certainly are not where we were and we continue to push this forward.
My prayer and hope is that we will not be requiring these centres in the coming months on account of any hurricanes. But, we will remain steadfast in ensuring as far as possible, that they will be repaired and can be utilised whenever necessary. Especially for our senior programmes we want to get back.
Thank you, Mister Speaker, for allowing me the opportunity to provide the update on our Community Centres to this Honourable House.