Govt to fast-track completion of City Hall Admin Building
The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development will be providing technical assistance to the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) in an effort to fast-track completion of its new Administrative Building, which has been under construction for the past two years.
This was revealed by Local Government and Regional Development Minister Nigel Dharamlall during a telephone interview with Guyana Times. “We’re going to send the (engineers) for them to have a look at how they can come up with a new construction plan, because City Hall has been unable to get the contract that they contracted to get the building completed. Based on my visit, I’ve seen a lot of work that could have been done with better…construction management, and they could have already started to use some floors of the building,” Dharamlall shared.
He added that City Council has never really gone through procurement of the best standards, and as such, he believes that this is what is costing the City Council.
“I’m aware that they’re trying to terminate that current contract that they have, but in the meantime, I think we can find ways…to start working on the building,” Dharamlall shared.
However, City Mayor Ubraj Narine, when contacted, related that the Council are still waiting on their legal team to update them on the best way forward.
During an inspection of the facility on Wednesday last, Dharamlall described the situation as “outrageous”, adding that he shudders to think this is one of the projects that City Hall has pursued, and has still been unable to complete after such a long time.
During a previous interview with this publication, Deputy Mayor Alfred Mentore revealed that construction was stalled due to issues with the contractor, Dave Construction Company, who kept requesting multiple extensions.
According to Mentore, construction has been stalled for about a year now. He added that the contractor did a lot of “general work”, but never actually completed a specific phase. As such, he said, the Council is seeking legal advice on how to end the relationship with the company and hire another firm.
“He did a lot of general work…externally and internally; so, in doing that, we weren’t able to actually complete a phase. We would have been moving to complete the downstairs, which would have been the Treasurer’s Department, and then we have the other departments on the other floor. But we didn’t get the chance to complete any of the phases. Most of the work he did was general,” Mentore explained.
“Most of the work that has to be done is the…finishing work: framing up things and putting ceiling. We have to settle it now, as it relates to finishing work…that in itself takes time, but it also takes money,” the Deputy Mayor added.
Previous reports indicated that the building was being constructed in phases. In 2019, Central Government gave the M&CC $75 million for the first phase of construction works. The second phase of construction work commenced in December 2021, after the Government had handed over a $30 million subvention to City Hall to complete the building.
The new building, when completed, is expected to have an elevator, a room for the holding of statutory meetings, and all the vital administrative departments.
Construction of the Administrative Building became a top priority for the municipality because of the dilapidated state of the existing structure, which is unsafe for staff.