Gov’t commits $200M to City Hall rehab

Government has approved over $200 million for the rehabilitation of City Hall, Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon announced yesterday.

Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green welcomed the announcement but hoped that the central government would seek to engage those with the technical know-how to undertake the renovation.

The $200M could be a major boost for the crumbling 1889 masterpiece designed by Father Ignatius Scoles.

At a post-Cabinet briefing yesterday, Luncheon announced that given the current state of the building and that it can “collapse at any time,” the Donald Ramotar administration is eying a comprehensive renovation and has strongly resolved to fast-track interventions into rehabilitating the historic building.

However, Luncheon did not state when the renovations will begin but he did add that interest in the building surfaced recently. The city council and many members of civil society had been appealing for years for the government to do something about City Hall.

In an invited comment yesterday, Green said that the idea of the restoration is a “welcome one.” “The restoration requires a certain skill, it is not a cut and paste or knock in nail operation. I hope they (government) utilise this skill before they start to just replace walls,” he said.

20140424city hallLast April, Ihosvany De Oca Morales and Nigel Renwick, architects from TVA Consultants, a Grenadian company, visited Guyana to advise on the restoration of City Hall and one of them was quoted as saying that it was in “cardiac arrest.”

Renwick described City Hall as suffering from a cardiac arrest based on their assessment and added that some issues need to be addressed immediately. Morales had noted that the restoration of City Hall is a peculiar project but added that the building was an important icon.

They had found that the “greater part” of the deterioration of City Hall was a result of water ingress. They also stated that priority should be given to   finding a solution to the situation, which was seen as the key factor triggering many other problems.

Three years ago, government had given the council $20 million to assist with the rehabilitation of the building but only $5 million had been spent to repair windows.

Green told this newspaper yesterday that the remaining $15 million was returned to the government. “Because the City Engineer couldn’t have his way, the project was stopped and the money was returned. They (the City Engineer and Town Clerk) put in some windows that were not in keeping with the kind of building we wanted, they were commercial windows,” he said.

 

 

More in Local News

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning:

Most Read This Week

  1. The section of the Fly Jamaica tail that was severed.

    CAL plane strikes tail of Fly Jamaica craft at CJIA

  2. Maryanna Lionel

    No bail but speedy trial promised to bribery accused in carpenter murder probe

  3. Samantha Sheoprashad

    Guyanese woman one of 60 recognised by Queen’s young leaders programme

  4. Bharrat Jagdeo

    ‘Pradoville 2’ audit advises criminal case against PPP/C Cabinet members

  5. Herman David

    Diamond man killed in Soesdyke crash

  6. Dead: Esme Pamela Rockliff

    Retired Region Nine executive killed in three-vehicle crash at Mahaicony

  7. Former Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai in heckle mode (Photo by Keno George)

    ‘Death announcement’ budget animates both sides of the House

  8. Selena Ramotar

    Attempted murder accused freed after stabbing victim refuses to testify


Recommended For You