Standing in what will be the lunchroom for the new DVES building, project manager Dennis Harris, center, shows designs for that room and the rest of the facilities. - Photo: Ken Silva

When the Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services moved into its current facilities off of North Sound Road some 40 years ago, that department had about 340 government vehicles to service and maintain at the time.

Today, the DVES serves as the main auto repair and fuel dispensing facility for more than 1,000 government vehicles, or up to 39 a day. That number does not include vehicles owned by statutory authorities and other public entities that are separate from central government.

To handle that growth, upgrades were sorely needed to the DVES facilities, according to Infrastructure Minister Joey Hew. Those upgrades, estimated to cost $6.6 million in total, started nearly a year ago with the construction of new 8.732-square-foot administrative facility, and are on budget and on schedule to be completed by the end of April, said DVES Acting Director Stephen Quinland.

Mr. Quinland and other government officials took media members on a tour of the nearly completed facilities on Friday, showing concrete rooms that will serve as the department’s new administrative offices. The construction of the structure is complete, and contractors are now working on the building’s interior.

“We are presently in the lunchroom,” said project manager Dennis Harris, showing a map of a floorplan that lays out the storeroom, purchasing office and other areas that allow the DVES to function.

“The conditions in the old offices – there’s no other word than ‘deplorable’ to describe them,” remarked Mr. Hew, who was also on the tour.

Mr. Quinland said one of the major benefits of the new building will be the consolidation of the department’s storeroom areas. This will allow the DVES to better handle its inventory, he said.

Stage two of the upgrades will see overhauls to the vehicle repairing bays, parking lot and the government fuel facility.

Project manager Dennis Harris said a timeline for that phase has not yet been set.