The St. Kitts and Nevis government continues to address the numerous cases of dilapidated government buildings across the islands.
Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris and his Team Unity administration have blamed the previous administration, led by Dr. Denzil Douglas, for the terrible conditions.
During the prime minister’s press conference on October 25, Dr. Harris said the damaged buildings, which include schools, police stations and medical facilities, are just some of the examples of the problems his administration has inherited from the previous government.
The prime minister said the Defence Force Coast Guard Unit base, St. Paul’s Police Station and the Mary Charles Hospital were three examples of the poor conditions buildings had been left in.
Alternative accommodation was found for the Coast Guard, as the state of the roof left it open to the elements causing issues for the staff.
St. Paul’s Police Station was closed earlier this year as a result of the dilapidated condition of the building. The existing infrastructure posed a serious health risk to the officers stationed there.
Prime Minister Harris said, “We would not subject the police and other workers to the conditions at the St. Paul’s Police Station, and we have remedied that through relocation.”
Officers who were stationed at the St. Paul’s Police Station are now attached to the Dieppe Bay Police Station.
Two other police stations – Old Road Police Station and Newcastle Police Station – have also been relocated due to the deteriorating conditions.
Several schools across the Federation have required urgent repairs since Team Unity took office, according to the Prime Minister.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Mr. Shawn Richards has been commended for his work in addressing the situations at these schools, including the Edgar T. Morris Primary School.
Students were able to return to classes in September to greatly improved facilities.
“That was a school that was in neglect [with] bats living in the roof”, the Prime Minister said.
“Things fell apart badly under the last administration and we are attempting, in a systematic way, to build new structures and improve the maintenance programme.”
Furthermore, Prime Minister Harris revealed that the Government will make budgetary allocation for the construction of a brand new police station in 2018 to serve the Sandy Point and surrounding communities.
In 2016 the Mary Charles Hospital in Molineux reopened to the public following months of repair and renovation work.
The total cost of the work was approximately EC$900,000.
Ms. Wendy Phipps, who is the Minister for State, said in July 2016 that works began on the hospital after a portion of the ceiling in the female ward collapsed.
The renovations provided an opportunity for the electrical wiring, toilets, basins, tiling and flooring to be replaced and upgraded, in addition to the comprehensive roof repairs.
Dr. Harris also revealed this week that construction work is set to commence shortly on a facility to house the Tabernacle Health Centre, which is currently operating from the same building that houses the Tabernacle Daycare Centre.