Officials broke ground on a new $250,550 command centre in Little Cayman which will operate during hurricanes and disasters.
Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly and members from the Ministry of District Administration, Works, Lands and Agriculture turned over the first sods of earth to dig the foundation for the extension to the Little Cayman Public Works Facility on Wednesday, 29 May.
Among those who attended the event were the ministry’s chief officer Alan Jones and acting deputy chief officer Jonathan Jackson, District Commissioner Ernie Scott, Deputy District Commissioner Mark Tibbetts, District Officer Larry Foster and Public Works Department Project Manager Lazarus Yotamu.
The extension is a 1,254 square-foot addition to the existing multipurpose building and will provide officials with privacy and storage space for shelter supplies, an office for command leaders and a central command room.
The contract to carry out the work on the project was awarded to James Thomas of Maximum Construction and Repair Company. Work is expected to start in June and take about four months.
“The Cayman Islands government takes hurricane preparedness and the protection of its citizens and residents very serious. Little Cayman residents called for the expansion because the current facility is not big enough to accommodate a proper command centre in the event of a national emergency,” Ms O’Connor-Connolly said.
“I am sure that having a purpose-built command room will be a huge resource in the event of a natural disaster,” she said.
The current Little Cayman Command Centre was initially set up to house Public Works employees who come to Little Cayman to work on projects for short periods.
The windows, doors, walls and roof of the new facility will be hurricane safety-rated and the building floor will be constructed 22 feet above sea level. A backup generator will be on hand to provide electricity if there is a power outage.
Mr. Jones said: “It is essential that we have proper facilities to cope during a national crisis. We are always striving to improve performance, safety and access to the latest technology, while reducing costs.”