Building will serve as hurricane shelter
If everything goes as planned, Bodden Town Church of God Multipurpose Hall, which will serve as a Category 5 hurricane shelter, should be enclosed and usable before the 2011 hurricane season is over.
“The aesthetics of the building and the grounds and other niceness can wait,” said church Pastor Winston Rose.
“Right now the walls are up and work is being carried out on pouring the belting and slabs over the generator, store room, kitchen and ‘room of last resort.’
The ‘room of last resort’ is the section where people will congregate for safety when things get really rough during a hurricane. The trusses for the roof will go up after that.
“There is still a lot of building to be done. The hurricane-proof windows need to go in, and the functions platform and cistern needs to be finished.
“So far we have encountered no major complications and work is right on schedule.”
He said the building is expensive, but it is stable as a hurricane shelter.
“There is not another sizeable auditorium in Bodden Town which can accommodate a lot of people. The multipurpose hall, when completed, will house close to 600 hundred people.”
Pastor Rose said they are thankful for the help they have received, and that donations are always welcome.
Work began on the 20,672-square-foot single-story building in 2010.
It is just past the Bodden Town Primary School on four acres of church property.
The project is a partnership between the church and the government and is estimated to cost just under $4 million.
The multipurpose hall is being built to an elevation of 14 feet with hurricane-resistant impact windows and doors, which is the government’s requirement for shelters.
The building features a kitchen, office and storage; two restroom areas with showers; a wastewater treatment plant, and a 60,000 gallon water cistern under the hall stage.
“The multipurpose hall will be used as long as necessary to accommodate persons sheltering from the hurricane and for a reduced number that are left homeless,” said the pastor.
The Public Works Department is providing project management assistance to ensure that hurricane shelter standards are met.
Contractors on the job are Chris and Chuck Duty of Tri Island Construction.
The finished building will be used for church services, youth activities and community events and as a hurricane shelter when needed.
The congregation from the old church by Guard House Hill will move into the building. When phase two of the project is completed, which is the sanctuary, the congregation will move in there.
The third phase of the project will be an educational centre.