Restoration of the Red House as the seat of this country's Parliament is, "on target for completion in November 2018." Urban Development Corporation of TT (Udecott) chairman Noel Garcia yesterday provided Newsday with this update on the project after a sod turning ceremony for a new community centre in Las Lomas #2. According to the last board report which he received, Garcia said, "We are 33 percent complete."
He said eight of the 15 packages have been awarded by Udecott to contractors. Garcia said structural block work and rendering is currently taking place at the Red House. He said roofworks on the building, "are going to start in the next few days." Garcia said contracts have also been awarded to undertake plumbing, electrical and air conditioning works at the Red House. He added that budget for the project is in the vicinity of $342 million.
Plans for the Red House's restoration include the creation of a distinct parliamentary district around it. Cabildo Chambers, former headquarters for the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, has been designated as the administrative and ancilliary services building for the Red House. Most of the ministry's departments have relocated to the Legal Affairs Tower at the nearby Government Campus Plaza which formally opened earlier this year. The Parliament is temporarily being housed at Tower D of the Port-of-Spain International Waterfront Complex.
The Red House was once being considered as the possible location for the Office of the Prime Minister during the tenure of former prime minister Patrick Manning (now deceased). Manning's immediate successor Kamla Persad-Bissessar promised the Parliament would return to the Red House. However this relocation did not happen under her former administration during the last five years. Oversight of works on the Red House is being done by a Cabinet sub-committee chaired by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.