Town Hall in George Town Hall is ready to be used again after being out of commission for some time.
The building, which has served many purposes throughout the years, was used as a court room for Traffic Court in most recent years. This ceased after Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and though the facility had undergone some repairs in the years since, no money had been allotted to complete repairs, particularly in the restrooms.
The Cayman Islands government has since provided about $25,000 for completion of the repairs. This made it possible for the building to host its first events in years starting in late May and early June.
“There is just one finishing piece we would like to add, which are Hurricane rated windows that will arrive in a few days time. We’ve got new bathrooms, fire alarms, life safety systems and electrical rewiring,” explained Facilities Manager Richard Sanfillipo.
He said the first group to rent the Town Hall since its makeover was the Bodden Town Heritage Committee, which had a display for the Queen’s Jubilee from the last week in May to the first week in June, which attracted tourists and residents.
Mr. Sanfillipo noted that the building may also be used for training regarding the Bill of Rights.
“This would mean that the government wont have to rent another space for that exercise,” he said.
He said Town Hall would be assigned a caretaker and then be “put back on the market for rent” in late September. Whether the facility will be used for court proceedings in the future remains uncertain.
“The possibility for the courts exist. However, no one from the Courts Office has reached out. I do understand that there is some synergy to be achieved with regard to the economics involving cost and proximity to the current courts, but we will have to look at all the options. It is important to note that revenue that may be gained from the Town Hall facility being rented may offset any other consideration,” said Mr. Sanfillipo.
“The Town Hall has so much historical significance that the public should have access to it. It belongs to the people and we would not want to take that away from them,” he continued.
Prices to rent the Town Hall have not been determined. Though Mr. Sanfillipo surmised that these could range from $35 to $45. He warned that the rules and regulations for use of all civic centres are going to be ratified to make sure that the government is not subsidising events at the civic centres, as there are administrative costs involved.
“When we get new rules and regulations drafted, we will reintroduce the Civic Centres Programme at large and let people know about their potential uses. We would like to go about reinvigorating the programme on a whole,” he said.