Our Readers' Opinions
October 6, 2017
The making of Calliaqua Town Hall/Community Centre

Editor: The doors of the above venue were opened for use on October 3, 2017. Congratulations after years in the making. I am obliged to address the captioned, as I was not invited, being the person who conceptualized the project.

I recall working with the Public Service in the early 2000s, in the capacity of architect planner in the Central Planning Department, being called upon to attend a meeting with the then Commissioner of Police (COP) William Harry at the Calliaqua Police Station.

At the time, the COP was addressing the need for space in that unit and was considering the possibility of a third floor on that building. Due to the expansion of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) with its different departments, there was need for space. Due to the age of the building and its complexity, I told him it would not be feasible at the time, as the existing structure would have to be demolished to accommodate a third floor.

I then asked the COP if we were to move the existing Courthouse and Post Office, will he still need more space? And he said ‘No’ and I recommended that we move the two entities out of the building. He asked where would we put them and that’s when I recommended renovating the existing Town Hall building in its present location. I told him that the existing space was not being properly utilized and we could renovate the existing structure to a two-storey building that could house the mentioned units and other departments. He welcomed the idea. At the said moment, the town warden, Foster Hannibal, was passing and I requested him to join us, where I related to him the discussion that we were having and asked him if there were any plans in store for the facility. He said no and also welcomed the idea. I told the COP that I would run the idea by the parliamentary representative, Clayton Burgin.

I met with Minister Burgin the following day and shared with him the plans that were conceived at the meeting. He was pleased with the suggestion and I asked him to run it by the Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who liked the idea and requested a design, which he received within a week. He, the PM, then advertised the design in a speech via TV and radio sometime thereafter, as a viable project for Calliaqua.

Everything was on hold for some time, until I was contacted by the late Jeffrey Cato, who asked me to submit the designs to the Public Works Department for production of working drawings.

The project was sent out for tender some time after, and was awarded to Minors Construction.

Other projects to my credit: Greiggs Clinic, Llewellyn Building, Old Montrose Primary School, MTM Building/Digicel, Peruvian Vale Primary School, Canouan Police Station, just to name a few.

Milton Mayers