Categorized | National News

Ragged Island To Receive $12 Mil In Repairs

Minister of Public Works, Desmond Bannister revealed yesterday during his contribution to the 2019/2020 Budget Debate that hurricane ravaged Ragged Island is on tap to receive $12 million in repairs to major infrastructures on the island. 

However, Mr. Bannister acknowledged that reconstruction on Ragged Island, particularly to government facilities will have to be done “in stages over a number of years, as logistically the engineering and architectural process together with the funding of the approximately $12 million cannot be accomplished in a single budget year”. 

Hurricane Irma, in 2017, devastated the  key infrastructure,  including school Buildings, teachers residence, Police Station, Health Clinic, Airport Shelter and Administration Building.  Mr. Bannister said that these structures suffered severe damages as they were “extremely vulnerable”. 

“This infrastructure was  extremely vulnerable because it was very old, and much of it did not meet current building standards with respect to the proper strengthening of foundations and the construction of roofing. 

“There is a huge challenge to enforce building controls in the construction process in many family island communities, and it is very important for local government to be vigilant during the entire process so that we may protect residents of these communities from natural disasters,” he said. 

Mr. Bannister revealed that the construction of the school and teachers’ duplex is pegged at $4 million,  while the construction of the clinic and Police Station and officers accommodations are pegged at $3 million each. 

“The school has been designed for 60 persons . It also will serve as a hurricane shelter. The Ministry of Education has only 6 students on record. The project design has been completed and currently the tender documents are being finalized. It is planned to tender the project by next month with an expected start date in October or November 2019.

“This is why it is so important and such a challenge, and I spoke about this challenge in the Family Islands, and so our architects have sought to design a hurricane shelter, a small school and teachers’ residence,” Mr. Bannister said. 

“After the school,  we are looking to construct the clinic. Designs are still being reviewed by the Ministry of Health,  but the architectural design has been completed,” he added. 

As for the construction of the Administrators office, Post Office and Court room,  it will cost the government $2 million;  for these Mr. Bannister said that architectural design is ongoing.  

Mr. Bannister added that “preliminary cost estimates have taken into consideration the inflationary effect of construction from cost of transportation to the Family Islands”.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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