A contract valued at $766,028 has been signed for the long-awaited refurbishment of the police barracks on Virgin Gorda and works are slated to begin as early as next Monday, November 26.
Works to the barracks, which has been in a year-long state of disrepair because of the September 2017 hurricanes, will be done by Ridgeview Construction (BVI) Limited.
This is among the first projects to be signed through the Recovery & Development Agency since the heavily-debated recovery plan passed in the House of Assembly last month.
Ridgeview Construction, in the meantime, will be installing a new roof to the building and this is to include a ring beam and an airtight roof decking.
A media release from the Office of the Governor, which has responsibility over the police department, said refurbishing work will also include the replacement of interior and exterior doors, as well as the replacement of balcony and handrails — all of which will be in line with building codes and which will be capable of withstanding hurricane-force winds.
“Window spaces will also be reduced in size with block work and new windows installed that are capable of withstanding hurricane-force winds. The interior of the building, to include the kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and bathrooms, will be repaired and repainted where needed with material suitable for the weather and temperature conditions in the BVI,” the release said.
In light of recent cases of mould that has infested government buildings, anti-fungal paint will be applied to reduce fungal growth on the soon-to-be-refurbished police living quarters. The refurbishment will also include installing accordion-style shutters and awnings.
The start of the project comes weeks after Police Commissioner Michael Matthews reported that the hurricane-damaged barracks was beginning to affect policing on Virgin Gorda.
He said at the time: “We’ve recently tried to increase the number of officers on Virgin Gorda except we got nowhere to house the officers if they, for example, live on Tortola. So, we are sending the officers across using the public service, except, the ferries don’t run particularly late at the moment and so I’m having difficulty in sustaining the coverage I want because those officers have got to get back.”
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