THE EDITOR: I am incredibly relieved to read recent reports that the government was able to finalise a contract for the restoration of the President’s House in St Ann’s.
The existing state of the President’s House is a national disgrace since the roof collapsed in 2010. Then Works minister Jack Warner stated in March 2011 that restoration works would commence, however, since then a galvanised roof went up over the collapsed part of the President’s house but not much else.
According to reports by Udecott chairman Noel Garcia, the contract for repairs will be completed by Unicom Ltd with the assistance of Colombian and American architects whose speciality is restoration works. This is great news since the President’s House is a national treasure and ensuring it is restored to its original glory will be a welcome sight.
Unicom has already started the restoration works since March 15 and they are due for completion in June 2019. Mr Garcia has described the contract as very competitive and on the face of it, it does seem like value for money. The Government set a budget of $160 million for the works. The lowest bid, which was Unicom, came in at a total value of $89.9 million dollars, this price is all-inclusive and includes the foreign restoration architects. The next lowest bid was $132 million and the next $167 million.
If all goes well, our first female President would have a “brand new” President’s House befitting her stature by the end of 2019. I for one welcome it.
Osei Benn, Carenage