Major rehabilitation works at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) have been completed and final touches are being put in place to meet the project’s deadline.
“The formal date for completion of all works is 27th May, 2018, right on the 18-month schedule,” General Manager Ramdial Nancoomar announced yesterday during a media tour of the facility.
Remedial and upgrading works were undertaken on the entrance gate, the ground floor, interior walls, the electrical lighting panel and washrooms.
The main conference room was completely remodeled.
The works are said to be 85% completed. The remaining works include the installation of LED screens, conferencing equipment and electrical lights and fixtures.
The conference rooms, Nancoomar noted, will be modernised in time for the reopening. “The new equipment includes PA systems, projectors, electronic screens, video conferencing equipment, WiFi equipped and air conditioning units,” he disclosed.
In addition, he indicated that the main conference hall will be equipped with a new digital conference system that can simultaneously translate three different languages. The conference centre also boasts 372 new theatre chairs, LED screens and overhead projectors.
In addition to the upgrades, the centre is now equipped with a canopy, which was constructed with steel and reinforced glass and outfitted with LED lights. The new feature would secure the area from rain.
Minister of Public Telecommunications Cathy Hughes and members of the Project Monitoring Committee for the rehabilitation project were also part of the tour of the facility. The tour was done by the management of the ACCC and the Engineering team from the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, which was contracted by the Government of China to execute the rehabilitation of the centre.
The ACCC was closed from December, 2016 to facilitate US$6.7 million (approximately $1.4 billion) in repairs over an 18-month period.
Touching on the technical aspect of the works executed, Building Engineer and Architect attached to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Vaniar Gutierrez said they had to undertake structural reinforcement work on the ground floor.
“We had to do reinforcement because the previous compaction work was very poor. The floor sank and we had to remove the materials, redo the compaction, with two layers; one with sand and one with sand and clay,” he explained.
Further he pointed out that due to structural reinforcement works, the underground installation was damaged “tremendously” and had to be replaced. “So we have a new large sewage and pumping system now,” he said.
Gutierrez added further that the ministry and members of the monitoring team “are really happy with the quality of the works done by the contractor. He also disclosed that maintenance of the building is scheduled for every decade and the cost would be covered by the Chinese government.
Nancoomar announced that they have already secured bookings for the use of the facility from June into the first quarter of 2019.
The complex, which had been constructed between 2004 and 2006, was a gift to the people of Guyana from the people of China.
The rehabilitation for the ACCC had been written into the 2004 agreements between the two countries, and like the construction, it is being funded entirely by grant aid from the donor country.