Repairs are ongoing at the Parliament Buildings this year with the West Wing of the buildings under immediate focus.
Senior Minister of the Prime Minister’s office, Dr William Duguid, said that despite satisfaction with the work done so far, there is still quite a bit that needs to be finished.
“The main thing of course is to make it more environmentally friendly,” he said. “Changing out the carpets and the air conditioning units to make it better for the people who work here, most importantly, and then us who visit periodically. On the other side (the West Wing) we had the Opposition Office that we are fixing and all the storage areas and we are looking to improve on that as well as the library facility and the Hansard location.”
Duguid noted that the age of buildings meant that maintenance always needed to be done to ensure it is a safe environment for all who inhabit it.
However when asked about a possible deadline he said: “It’s always a long time. This section took quite a while but that’s because we’re working here while we’re doing it. It may take a little longer but it’s not being as occupied or not as pressing.”
Some of the environmental issues found at the Parliament buildings was mould caused by the increased dampness and moisture on the walls as well as the disintegrating fibreglass in the ceilings which caused several people, including Dr Sonia Browne, to complain about experiencing health issues as a result of being in the building.
The repairs necessary included the removal of sealants from the walls, removal of the concrete ground floors, replacement of 5 813 square feet of ceiling, refurbishment of ground floor bathrooms and kitchen and dining room, electrical rewiring of the entire ground floor, refurbishment of the Senate and joining rooms and House of Assembly, repair of ceiling leaks and replacement of all carpeting.
On February 24, 2020 Parliament was moved to the Worthing Corporate Centre to facilitate industrial cleaning and any other works to be carried and returned to the historic buildings on March 15 last year.
The buildings were erected on the site of the burnt district in 1860 with the West Wing opening in 1872 and East Wing in 1874. The refurbishment of the latter was estimated to cost $6 million in 2020. (JC)