By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The National Cultural Center having officially opened its doors on May 16, 1976 is now set to undergo a possible $80M rehabilitation, having been heavily criticized for its old fashioned operations and degrading standards.
This is according to Culture Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony. Dr. Anthony said the estimated $80M will be used to upgrade the air conditioning (AC) system, lights and sounds at the premier auditorium for cultural presentations.
Dr. Anthony during a press conference on Friday (January 3) admitted that substantial works have not been done on the building, particularly as it relates to the AC units and said that the current units needs to be retired.
In this regard, he informed that after writing to 10 companies to send in proposals, two have since done so. He added that a previous proposal prior to the current two was received totaling $56M which was thought to be too expensive.
The Minister also pointed to the difficulties experienced with the lighting and sound at the center which seats almost 2,000 persons and said efforts are being made to upgrade the lighting system to digital lights and the sound system similarly.
Dr. Anthony said the staffing at the Cultural Centre is also a need for concern and announced that those that have been underperforming will be replaced.
He did point out too, that the Centre is not making enough money to be self-sufficient, adding that its operations are highly subsidized by the Ministry.
Dr. Anthony said many persons have expressed concerns over the cost to use the facility but noted that the costs are incomparable to the investment needed to host shows.
The National Cultural Centre rises 62 feet, is 240 feet long and 115 feet wide. Its stage is 48 feet deep with an orchestra pit, and has a 72-foot wide and 20-foot high opening.