Upgrades slated for Dept. of Vehicle and Equipment Services facility

Commerce Minister Joey Hew, sixth from left, breaks ground on the new upgrades alongside government officials and representatives from the local contractor Edgewater Group, Public Works Department and the Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services.

The Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services is getting an upgrade.

Joey Hew, Cayman’s minister of commerce, led a ministry staff delegation to the North Sound Road facility on Friday, Feb. 16, for a groundbreaking on several upcoming renovations.

The DVES, which serves as the main auto repair and fuel dispensing facility for more than 1,000 government vehicles, will upgrade its administration building in phase one, and phase two will see overhauls to the vehicle repairing bays, parking lot and the government fuel facility.

The facility, which is 40 years old, will have an approved total budget of $6.6 million. Minister Hew said that the upgrades have been “a long time coming.”

“If we are to be considered a first-class financial center, a first-class tourism destination, a first-class civil service, then we must provide our people with the tools and the facilities to be just that – first class,” he said as part of an official press release. “I am therefore very pleased that this groundbreaking signals the start of positive change that will provide a modern, comfortable and safer working environment that will allow the DVES staff to service their clients more efficiently and effectively.”

The facility upgrades will alleviate the current congestion of the parking lot, and the stores unit will get a modernization that will take it away from its present cramped and hazardous state. The government fuel facility will receive new equipment consisting of new tanks and pumps.

Richard Simms, director of the DVES, said that phase one of the redevelopment will include a two-story administration building that will take up 8,732 square feet. The building is expected to cost $2,924,566. Work began on it on Jan. 15 and is expected to be completed by April of next year.

The construction contractors are the local Edgewater Group.

Niasha Brady, senior project manager from the Public Works department, stated the building will be rated category 4 for hurricanes and will consist of office spaces, a conference room, reception and storage areas.