JIS News

A new infirmary for the parish of Hanover is to be constructed at a cost of some $20 million. Details of the project were outlined at a meeting of representatives of the Hanover Parish Council and the Department of Local Government, in Lucea, on June 24.
Technical Director in the Department of Local Government, Office of the Prime Minister, Alston Esmie, revealed at the meeting that the new infirmary will be constructed using a building technology called Free Form. He said that technology was chosen over the conventional Block and Steel, because it presented a number of advantages, including its cheaper cost.
He explained that based on the architectural drawings for the new facility, using conventional building techniques would cost approximately $36 million, an increase of approximately $16 million over the Free Form technology.
It was also pointed out that the required $20 million for construction is already in place, provided by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sport and Education (CHASE) Fund.
Mayor of Lucea, Councillor Lloyd Hill, who chaired the meeting, said the old infirmary, which has 56 inmates, is not in the best of shape, and with the hurricane season in progress, there is concern that the old structure would not withstand high winds.
“Fortunately we have alternative arrangements with a church nearby, that will accommodate them (the inmates) just for a short period, a day or two, if we have a hurricane, but not for any extended period,” he said.
Mr. Esmie said that after a meeting with the National Contracts Commission (NCC) this week, it is expected that a contract could be signed before the end of July. Construction should last between four and five months, he added. He said that the model for the Hanover infirmary, in Lucea, will be used as the prototype for future construction of infirmaries across the island. “We are actually moving away from the infirmary of the past, which is that dormitory type building that looks more like a hospital,” he noted.
“We are actually trying to implement a design that allows the residents to feel quite comfortable and at home, so when they are visited, they do not feel like they are in a hospital, but more like they are in a community where social activities can take place,” Mr. Esmie added.
Also present at the meeting were Project Officers in the Department of Local Government, Adrian Smith and Carl Drummond; Secretary/Manager of the Hanover Parish Council, Patricia Sinclair-Stair and Medical Officer of Health for Hanover, Dr. Diahanne Dale.