Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Thursday (November 12), officially opened the St. Ann parish office of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, located at 4 Windsor Road in St. Ann’s Bay.
The new two-storey, state-of-the-art facility, built at a cost of more than $500 million, is designed to enhance service delivery to the people of St. Ann.
Prime Minister Holness said he is pleased with the project, noting that provision has been made “for parking, for access for the disabled, and to ensure the building is as energy efficient as could be. I noticed grasscrete in place, which will ensure proper percolation of any surface water”.
“It’s a building that took into consideration all the environmental factors as well. There is a place for water storage to ensure there is no disruption in supply and, of course, they have a very secure perimeter fence and camera system in place,” he added.
Mr. Holness said that the facility holds special significance due to the integral role that late former Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, played in bringing the project to fruition. Construction began some two years ago during her stewardship.
The Prime Minister was joined by Mrs. Robinson’s sister, Rosemarie Pilliner, in unveiling a plaque dedicating the building to the late Minister.
“She was like a sister and then a mother to this constituency. She attended the ground-breaking ceremony for this parish office. No doubt, her spirit is here with us as we gather to officially open the facility,” the Prime Minister said.
He also noted that Mrs. Robinson spearheaded the building of new offices in both Hanover and St. James, as she was committed to ensuring that the “Ministry could be felt in all parishes as possible and was accessible to all”.
Current Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, for his part, said that the new parish office serves as a fitting tribute to the late Minister, who devoted a great part of her life in helping others.
“This building stands as a symbol of caring and love because the person who drove its development was full of nothing less,” he noted.
The Prime Minister later toured the new facility, which will be opened to the public next week.