The Government has allocated $232 million for the provision of customised office facilities for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
The new space is to adequately support the needs of the Ministry in terms of accommodation of staff, meeting and conference facilities and waiting areas for diplomats and other visitors.
Details of the project are outlined in the 2017-18 Estimates of Expenditures, now before the House of Representatives.
Included in this project is a provision for contribution to the redevelopment of downtown Kingston, by virtue of the Ministry’s location to that area.
Anticipated targets for the fiscal year include: the completion of coastal revetment and drainage works; completion of activities related to securing building approvals and permits from the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAC), National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and National Water Commission (NWC), among other agencies; and the installation of sewerage facilities.
The acquisition of all necessary approvals for the office building’s superstructure; and the commencement of civil works activity for the construction of the building are also expected to be done to achieve six per cent project completion at the end of the year.
Feasibility and storm surge studies have already been conducted, as well as bathymetric, topographic and geological surveys.
The ownership of the land has been transferred from the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to the Ministry and a preliminary design has been completed and reviewed. A contract for the construction of the building was also signed between the Ministry and the Chinese Government, which, along with the Government of Jamaica, are funding the project.
Substructure works (piling) for the office building has commenced.