KINGSTON — A sum of $93 million has been allotted in the 2011/12 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives, for the relocation of the offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, downtown Kingston.
Ground is expected to be broken for the project this fiscal year, with construction to begin thereafter.
The project, which started in April 2008, is scheduled to end in December 2013. It is being implemented by the Government of Jamaica through grant funding from the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
As at March 2011, an agency was contracted to undertake pre-contract activities and has commenced evaluation of tenders for local consultants; while architectural services were procured for preparation of the design brief, which is on-going.
Over the next year, it is expected that architectural surveys and site/engineering/geological surveys and design and feasibility studies are to be completed. In addition, a production document is to be prepared.
The relocation of the Ministry will contribute to the re-development of downtown Kingston, obviate the cost to Government arising from high rental costs in New Kingston where the Ministry is now located.
It will also provide customisedoffice space to adequately support needs in terms staff accommodation, meetings and conferences, and provide waiting areas for diplomats and other visitors.
By ALECIA SMITH, JIS Reporter