Categorized | National News

Cabinet To Decide Fate Of Ansbacher House

The former Free National Movement (FNM) Government spent close to $2.5 million to refurbish Ansbacher House, but Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson revealed Thursday that the Christie administration might put plans to complete phase two on hold indefinitely.

The government must now decide if completing phase two at the court building will further strain the public purse.

The completion of phase two has been estimated to run the government into approximately $5 million.

“We have heard the prime minister speak about the severe fiscal constraints with which the country is faced…so the government, as we speak, is making a decision about the way forward in terms of whether we will continue our previously held philosophy of putting all of the infrastructure in one place or whether we will continue the plan as you are seeing here today,” Mrs. Maynard-Gibson said.

“The position of our administration is that we should have a judicial complex which houses all of the courts. That complex would have held the 12 Supreme Courts and the judges’ chambers, and the registries, the entire Court of Appeal (COA) and the Industrial Tribunal. This would provide us with one building which houses the entire seat of justice without having to repeat technology and security.”

Following Thursday’s tour, Mrs. Maynard-Gibson said she and State Minister for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez will advise Cabinet on their findings.

Once Cabinet has been briefed, she said dialogue will commence on what will be the best way forward.

In the meantime, Mrs. Maynard-Gibson noted that she is pleased with phase one at Ansbacher House.

“Our tour has proven that the first floor of this building is very modern, advanced and technologically proficient. The fact that we have technologically proficient courts is no doubt a pleasure for us to see,” she said.

Construction at Ansbacher House came to a halt in November 2011, but if the government gives the green light on phase two, architect Douglas Smith explained that the additional three floors at Ansbacher House will renovated and transformed into state-of-the-art facilities.

“The scope of works include fitting out the three floors for all the registries, five civil courts with judges’ accommodations and all the administration for the courts themselves inclusive of human resources and the accounts department. It also includes upgrading the building to modern standards with firing proofing, fire sprinklers, air conditioning systems and new restrooms,” he said.

“Exterior works include putting in all new windows, dealing with cracks and flaking plaster and then repainting. The roof has already been done except for a little piece of trim which had to wait, but once that has all been carried out the entire building will be as good as new.”

Mrs. Maynard-Gibson said if the government decides not to continue with the second phase of Ansbacher House, it will be considered as wasted monies.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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