Repairs and upgrades to the William Allen McLaughlin Civic Centre in East End should be finished by the end of June, according to Infrastructure Minister Joey Hew.
Mr. Hew was speaking during Legislative Assembly’s question-and-answer period in response to inquires from East End MLA Arden McLean. He and Sports Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly also gave updates on the East End Primary School and the track at the Donovan Rankine Football Field.
Mr. Hew said the Public Works Department is currently repairing the civic center’s cistern, and should have it finished by the end of this month. Parts for the building’s generator have been ordered and should arrive by April, and other upgrades should be completed by June 30, he said.
Mr. McLean also asked when the standby generator for the East End Primary School will be in service. Mr. Hew replied that his ministry has signed a contract to purchase parts, and that the generator should be in service by mid-May. The project was delayed because the wrong parts for the generator were delivered to the ministry in the past – the third time this has happened, according to Mr. McLean.
The opposition member complained that these projects have been delayed for years – some since from around the time of Hurricane Ivan – but Mr. Hew assured him that his ministry will stay on schedule this year.
Another delayed project is the new track at the Donovan Rankine Football Field. According to Mr. McLean, the project should have been finished by the end of December.
Ms. O’Connor-Connolly said her staff told her that the delays were due to Mr. McLean objecting to the project around last October.
She explained that Mr. McLean said the track was too narrow and encroaching onto the football field. In response to that concern, the Public Works Department revised the project’s designs to widen the track and leave room for the football field, and sent the drawings to her ministry on Dec. 12. The track should be finished by mid-July, she said.
The East End MLA objected to this characterization, saying that he “won’t allow the minister’s staff to tell a lie on me.”
He agreed that he told Public Works Department workers last October that the track was encroaching on the football field, but said he expected the department to revise its designs within several days so that the project could still be completed by the end of the year.
Ms. O’Connor-Connolly responded that the Public Works Department is not her responsibility, and so she does not know why it took so long for the revised designs to reach her ministry.