Government officials have opened the extension of the Little Cayman Command Centre.
Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, members of the Ministry of District Administration, Works, Lands and Agriculture, Little Cayman residents and local schoolchildren attended the opening of the extension to the Little Cayman Command Centre on Wednesday, 26 September.
Work on the building began in June, following a ground-breaking ceremony on 29 May.
The existing, multipurpose building, which serves as part of Little Cayman’s Public Works Department’s residential quarters, also acts as a hurricane shelter. Its 1,254 square-foot addition has a conference room with extra storage capacity for hurricane supplies, bathroom facilities and an office for staff. The windows, doors, walls and roof of the new facility are hurricane safety-rated and the building floor is 22 feet above sea level. There is a backup generator to provide electricity if there is a power outage, as well as Internet service to enable real-time access to Hazard Management Cayman Islands and ministry officials, and to track approaching weather during a hurricane.
Ms O’Connor-Connolly congratulated everyone involved in the project for delivering it on time and within budget.
“This project was very important to the residents of Little Cayman because of the dire need for such a facility. I have been tracking hurricanes for many years and, in particular, Ivan, Gustav and Paloma and we have noticed how easy it is for Little Cayman to be cut off in terms of communications and supplies, so this shelter will provide crucial back-up until unfavourable weather conditions pass,” she said.
The opening event was attended also by the ministry’s Acting Deputy Chief Officer Jonathon Jackson, Deputy District Commissioner Mark Tibbetts, District Officer Larry Foster, PWD Project Manager Lazarus Yotamu, contractor James Thomas of Maximum Construction and Repair Company and members of Cayman Brac Public Works.
Mr. Thomas said it had been a challenge to get materials onto Little Cayman, but added: “My 11-man crew and I made the most of it to complete the job on time for the benefit of residents”.
Mr. Foster said he was relieved to have the new facility up and running. “We now have the privacy to make command decisions and we will be better equipped in the event of a storm. This is a big improvement on what we had before.”
Little Cayman resident Maxine McCoy-Moore congratulated the deputy premier for her perseverance in getting the project complete.
“This was something we needed years ago and I am pleased to see that it is now complete and that we have somewhere to go in the event of a storm. We can feel protected and also watch what is going on with the storm. I am relieved. This is important because I am one of those residents that want to stay here during a storm. This is my home,” she said.