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Ground is to be broken next month for the construction of a new courthouse in Port Antonio, Portland. The Ministry of Justice is to benefit from the project, which will be undertaken by sponsor, National Commercial Bank (NCB), who has assumed responsibility for technical planning and project management.
Assistant General Manager, Projects and Administration Services at NCB Major Ffrench Campbell speaking at a preliminary showing of the designs to Ministry Officials last Friday (July 15) at the Ministry in Kingston, said the undertaking would see the construction of a modern, long-lasting and highly functional courthouse to incorporate future expansion and, modern technologies.
He said the new building would be larger than the present building, which is 8,400 square feet and also convert the existing courthouse into a branch of the bank consistent with National Heritage Trust Standards.
Major Campbell said NCB’s commitment was to complete the structure within a year of breaking ground.”A year is our timeline from the time that we break ground if everything works according to plan we expect to deliver before the one-year period expires,” he said. Major Campbell said NCB was committed to the task and assured that “very little would be spared” in providing a “high quality courthouse in Port Antonio.”
Company Architect, Colin Davis in his comments said the entity saw the challenge of building the new courthouse as more than just a challenge of preparing a building, but rather as “carving a new path in which the building contributes to the whole delivery of justice”.
He said during their research and review of the design and capacity of several of the island’s courthouses, various shortcomings had been observed and taken into account in the design of the proposed structure.
“We have tried to embody in this design the kind of spatial and functional arrangements that will better facilitate the carriage of justice,” he told the group.
The contract for the construction of the courthouse was signed in February and a Memorandum of Understanding established regarding the project scope. The ultra modern two-storey building will be located at Boundbrook in the parish and will house a Resident Magistrate and Circuit Court as well as a hearing room for family court proceedings.