Key seaport, airport project manager dies

Jim Scott passes away

Those receiving it may not have always liked his advice, but when it came to Cayman Islands project management and Jim Scott was talking, everyone listened. 

Mr. Scott died of natural causes at his home over the weekend. He had called in sick to work on Friday and was found by a family member Sunday afternoon.  

“It’s going to be difficult to replace him,” Planning Minister Kurt Tibbetts said Monday. “I’m certainly glad he was on our [government’s] side.”  

The Public Works Department special projects employee was deeply involved in two major current government projects, the planned construction of a cruise berthing facility and the redevelopment of the Owen Roberts International Airport.  

“Recently, he transferred to the special projects office … to assist with the airport and seaport projects,” Minister Tibbetts said. “He is certainly sorely missed and still had much to contribute.”  

Mr. Scott was hired as the consultant project manager of the Government Administration Building which was, at the time, the largest office building constructed in the Cayman Islands. It was delivered on time and on budget.  

He also worked on certain aspects of the George Town Landfill project with government chief officer Jennifer Ahearn.  

“I had a tremendous amount of respect for him as a professional; he was a man who always strove for excellence and gave his all with the work that he did,” Ms. Ahearn said. “I could always rely on the advice he gave me and he was a real no-nonsense professional.”  

Minister Tibbetts and Ms. Ahearn both referred to Mr. Scott’s “gruff” exterior and made mention of the fact that the Scotland native was not known for pulling back from doing what he believed was right.  

“On occasion, he was known to ruffle feathers, but that was simply because he was doing his job,” Mr. Tibbetts said.  

Long history in Cayman  

James “Jim” Scott moved to Cayman in 1981. He worked at the OBM Architect firm for more than two decades, eventually becoming a director of the company. Projects completed with OBM included some of the more notable buildings standing on Grand Cayman today, including: Plantana Condominiums, Butterfield House, Elizabethan Square, Genesis Building, Cayman National Bank, UBS bank, Strathvale House and Citrus Grove.  

From 2005 until completion of the Government Administration Building, Mr. Scott dedicated six years to being the project manager. He emphasized the need for a building that would provide government with a facility that had a lifespan of at least 60 years and introduced a number of energy saving devices.  

He received a Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour in 2012 for work done in the Cayman Islands.  

“While I don’t do it for the glory and praise, my passion for architectural work is what keeps me going,” Mr. Scott said at the time. “It’s a great kick to see something you have designed and drawn up included in the final product on a site.”  

“It’s going to be difficult to replace him.” 

Kurt Tibbetts, planning minister 


Mr. Scott


  1. I am sorry to learn of Mr. Scott’s passing. He was indeed a highly professional man of honour and integrity. It was indeed my privilege to work with him while I was a Minister of Government. My sincere condolences to his family.