By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com]– Delivering on earlier promises made, Government has committed to utilizing a total of $100M to carryout urgent renovation works on the historic but weakening City Hall, situated in the heart of Georgetown.
“City Hall got a new leash of life when Cabinet, at its most recent meeting on Tuesday, October 7, pledged to provide $100 million Guyana dollars for urgent renovation works,” Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon told reporters this morning, Wednesday, October 08.
From all indications, the work, using the $100M, will be executed in full by government. The role City Council will play in the restoration is unclear.
Dr. Luncheon pointed out that the condition of City Hall has deteriorated; explaining that Government, through its heritage and public works, has been working in preparing the bills of quantities and estimates for the work that has to be done and equally in cultivating the interest of domestic and regional bodies in contributing to the cause.
“Contributions at Cabinet meeting revealed much more than deterioration… it is becoming a matter of concern for staff using the building and for the heritage inclined who were consumed with the passion to restore and prevent further deterioration,” the Cabinet Secretary said.
Luncheon added too that it is the administration’s expectation that the decision to provide the money for urgent renovation works will inspire other interested parties to make similar contributions to the restoration of the historical site.
In April, Dr. Luncheon had announced that the building was structurally unsound and would require in excess of $200M to execute rehabilitative works. He had said then that the administration will contribute to the rehabilitation cost.
In 2012, the government had provided $20M to commence rehabilitative works to City Hall but this amount was said to be wholly inadequate to carry out the extend of works needed.
It is expected that staff will have to be housed in another building while the renovation on the building gets underway.
Georgetown City Hall is a nineteenth-century Gothic Revival building located on the corner of Regent Street and Avenue of the Republic. It was opened in 1889 and is 29 metres high.