Buildings around hospital to make way for parking, lab
The Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) will soon see the construction of additional parking space and a new laboratory on space made available through the demolition of eight adjacent properties.
The demolition of three of these properties at Bentick Square is ongoing, while five buildings adjacent to the Rubis gas station on the road to Edinboro will soon be demolished.
Senator Julian Francis told WE FM’s Issues at Hand program on Sunday that the space which is currently being cleared will be used for the building of a laboratory, while government is finalizing arrangements to demolish all the buildings from the gas station all the way to the hospital’s ambulance entrance on the road to Edinboro.
He said this space may be used for parking for the time being, as government has not yet made plans for the space that will be created on that side.
“There are some occupants there and the ministry of national mobilization has already done their work.
“They have the names of all the individuals and on Wednesday last week, we finalized all details of how they would be dealt with,” Senator Francis explained.
He noted that government has already requested bids from demolition and construction firms and noted that all five buildings on that block are owned by the government.
In relation to the three buildings that are in the process of being demolished, Francis said there is some “manufactured controversy” but reassured that government has dealt with all the legal aspects of the acquisition and the law was followed.
“Third and fourth generations always have questions and I can’t tell you exactly who the chief surveyors and the government dealt with, but I know I have had the assurance and I know that all the legal positions were taken care of,” Francis, the Minister of Urban Development, Energy, Airport, Seaport, Grenadines Affairs and Local Government told radio listeners.
He noted that the majority of buildings in the area were acquired under the regime of Prime Minister Milton Cato, which ended in 1984.
Francis’s portfolio gives him oversight of some major projects promised in the Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) manifesto, including the Port Modernisation project and the buildout of the modern city proposed in Arnos Vale.
On Sunday, Senator Francis said that Minister of Social Development Orando Brewster has already presented to the Cabinet, the details of all the occupants of the soon to be demolished buildings and they are looking at the usual compensation, settlement and placement of the affected persons.
He noted that while the buildings are not being demolished for a specific project at this point, whenever a purpose is chosen for the space, a design with arches, a feature of buildings in Kingstown, will be retained.
“We are cleaning up the area to do significant enhancement to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. There will be a parking area for the time being as no structure has been identified for it yet,” he said of the space adjacent to Rubis.