BVI News

Briecliffe Hall to be demolished and replaced by performing arts facility

By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff

A facility dedicated to the performing arts will soon replace the Sir Rupert Briecliffe Hall in Road Town, Tortola.

According to Culture Minister, Dr Natalio Wheatley the facility will be demolished “in the not too distant future”.

He said the demolition was recommended due to the buildings infrastructural issues.

“We are exploring the possibility of a modern performing arts facility,” Dr Wheatley said.

“I have publicly and privately expressed my desire for a performing arts centre along with a national library and museum in that entire area,” the minister added while stating that he became even more enthused to have the new performing arts facility built after travelling to Trinidad and “experiencing their cultural institutions”.

The Culture Minister said he recently made a presentation on the development to a group of individuals who he said “access funding for worthy projects”. 

“They liked the idea. I expect progress shortly.”

More about the Hall

The Sir Rupert Briecliffe Hall located adjacent to the Althea Scatliffe Primary School was the venue for several local events and pageants.

The building has been abandoned since the 2017 hurricanes when it sustained major structural damage. 

The facility is now covered in weeds and its broken windows, as well as a section of the roof that collapsed, has left the interior is exposed to weather elements.

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30 Comments

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  1. Devon says:

    Good idea… could be built in a better location though.

    Like 8
    Dislike 6
  2. Future says:

    Please do it right the first time don’t rush the project.Build for the future

    Like 17
  3. Hmmm says:

    Sense alone will tell you that, the infrastructural issues stemmed from the manner in which the building was constructed. So from the onset, the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall aka Cultural Centre was plagued and suffered due to constant flooding as it was built directly down in the swamp. Ask the older heads; as we seem to have a lot of book sense in this country and no common sense!

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
  4. Wait says:

    Did the culture minister say that after he went to Trinidad he was enthused with their cultural facility… smh – what his doctoral degree in? Poetry

    Like 1
    Dislike 9
  5. Performing Arts says:

    Isn’t that what/why the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall was built and purposes for? This culture minister needs to learn the history of this Territory. He doesn’t have a clue!

    Like 4
    Dislike 8
  6. HMMM says:

    So long Popeye asked Government to lease the place and let him fix it and run it. Government need to get their hands out of everything because they cannot maintain anything properly.

    Like 12
    Dislike 2
  7. SMH says:

    Proper Engineering structural input due to low lying land area.

  8. my 2 cents says:

    in my humble opinion, that location is perfect for a performing arts center. i would offer some suggestions though. first, please make sure the building’s ground floor is at least 6 feet above actual ground level (we cannot continue to build anything on the flat at current ground level considering the flooding issues that we are constantly experiencing). second, construct the national library in a portion of the empty lot next to what would be the performing arts center. third, build a two-way bypass road that would prolong the road from John’s Hole (next to Althea Scatliffe) into the 4 lane highway. This road would essentially be built over the existing ghut, and must have pull offs. third, make sure by the time all of this is done, the proposed paved parking is completed on the festival grounds. i’m with the Minister on this. that area there that stretches from AO Shirley Grounds up to the tip across from the Red Cross should be reserved for Cultural/Athletic purposes. the land around the 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works museum should be enhanced to give it a more cultural flair. my 2 cents.

    Like 24
    • Ummm says:

      Somebody campaigned on this and it was not the Minister.

    • @my 2 cents says:

      That area is reclaimed land.

      • my two cents says:

        i am very well aware that it is reclaimed land, but so is the area where the MultiPurpose Complex is, and it was raised by almost six feet from ground level. my personal opinion is that every new building being erected on flat land should follow this construction guideline (raised at least 6 feet from current ground level. but thanks for your input though. we’re all in this together and want the best for this Great Little Nation of ours.

    • At my 2 Cents says:

      That wasn’t 2 cents. That was too much Cents (sense). Why do people like you and I have such brilliant/common sense ideas but the people in charge always seem to have such limited thinking…..?

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
      • my 2 cents says:

        i don’t know. something about when you get into power changes the dynamics of one’s intentions. our neighbours in the U.S.V.I. were extremely happy with the election of Albert Bryan citing hi as the change they yearned for, but so far from what I have heard, not much has change with the way public affairs are being handled on that side. but we’ll see how it goes. thanks for the compliment though. just trying to throw my 2 cents and see if someone is willing to turn it into a dollar (for the public’s benefit).

  9. stink says:

    they don`t have the high school fix yet. what the looking at another project for, what the hell.

    Like 4
    Dislike 6
  10. Performing arts centre says:

    Dont we have an excellent facility at the College?

    Like 6
    Dislike 4
  11. Jenny Public says:

    Dear. Mr. Minister:

    Please, please make a lil space for a library there. We need one badly in the BVI.

    If it cannot be accommodated there, please find somewhere else and gran ust our wish – we need a public library bad, bad, bad in the BVI. Our people are perishing from lack of knowledge.

    I pray that you would soon grant us our wish.

    Thank you.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
    • :) says:

      I agree that a library is needed but the suggestion that the lack of a library leads to a lack of knowledge is absurd. That may have been the case in the 1800’s but with the majority of people now having a device that can access the internet the ability to get updated, more wider range and vast amount of information faster and easier is in the palm of our hands.

      We used to rely on the Encyclopedia for information in the 80’s and early 90’s and had to pay hundreds of dollars just for the complete set only to be stuck with outdated information. Now you can google and Wikipedia the same information in seconds.

      The internet isn’t just a tool for social media.
      There also EBooks that can be downloaded and read as well. Most of the books that are available in print can be found in Ebook format.

  12. Ausar says:

    Let the performing arts facility remain where its currently at and be reconstructed over the ghut!

    Such facilities in the town, would best serve a variety of purposes.

    Six feet above ground for reconstruction, is not enough!

    Eight to twelve feet like what they did at Al Cohens Plaza at Raphune Hill, could offer some cues!

    I think, as it now stands, no new commercial buildings constructed in Road Town should be built at ground level!

    After the great floods of 2003, 2010, and 2017, building codes within the city MUST BE CHANGED!!

  13. Too True says:

    Yes, there should be parking at the ground level (or even first floor too), then whatever else on top!

  14. Hit the Nail on the Head says:

    Good points to everyone who agreed that the Sir Briercliffe Hall should be rebuilt as a performing arts centre, a road put in, and a library.

    The said plan for this development was done and presented just over 10 years ago, and the public was invited.

    The then Commissioner of the Girl Guides and myself attended as our group was being affected. On the said plans, the historical building of the Girl Guides and the Boy Scouts were removed. There was a space for the New Library that was located the length of the Ghut. The 1760 Cotton Works building nearby now a museum was on the plan.

    Being that the Heritage Dancers Building is there, will that be removed or allowed to stay. If so the building for the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts should remain and allowed to be refurbished.

    I will wait and see if the Minister of Education will entertain such conversations as we have turned down so many times….hhhhmmmmmm

  15. hit the nail on the head says:

    The consultant that created and presented the plans was Ivor Jackson Consultancy and it was the NDP who was in at the time. I suppose the Hon. Minister Natalio Wheatley found the plans and decided to go forward with them. Good move.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  16. Road Engineer says:

    This building was poorly designed and constructed so it a sensible move to tear it down and reconstruct a new modern and functional facility. Furthermore, this area should be designed and built out as a cultural, ie, multi-purpose building, museum, library, amphitheater………etc.

    From an engineer perspective, this area is a low lying and flood-prone area. As such, a robust drainage system must be designed and constructed. The finish floor elevation (FFE) must be well above the base flood elevation (BFE), elevation to which flood waters are expected to rise.

    • Road Engineer says:

      Furthermore, this area should be designed and built out as a cultural, ie, multi-purpose building, museum, library, amphitheater………etc. Should have cultural village, ie, multi-purpose building, museum, library, amphitheater………etc.

  17. just saying says:

    I think they should build a 3 level or 4 car park building there instead of using the festival ground.

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