Minister for Grand Bahama, Dr. Michael Darville, during the recent Government Heads of Department Tour revealed that construction of the West Grand Bahama Government Complex continues to progress smoothly.
The new complex is being constructed on the site of the former City Markets/Winn-Dixie Shopping Center, Pinedale, Eight Mile Rock.
For many years, the shopping complex stood in “ruins,” which resulted in residents as well as Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, Obie H. Wilchcombe petitioning Central Government to have the site cleaned and redeveloped into a viable business complex.
Diligently working to ensure Central Government executes the necessary procedures to move forth with the site’s redevelopment, Wilchcombe announced, four months ago, that due to a public-private partnership the area had been cleared and ground broken for the construction of the new West Grand Bahama Government Complex.
At that time, Wilchcombe also claimed that the complex would be named in honor of the late Moses A. Hall, whom he lauded as “an extraordinary Member of Parliament during his heyday, who also resided in the West Grand Bahama community.”
Once construction of the West Grand Bahama Government Complex is completed, Darville said, a new paradigm shift would take shape in the Western District thus providing new employment and business opportunities to thousands of residents and boost the economic standings of the local community.
Darville released specific details of the West Grand Bahama Government Complex with the assistance of Ministry of Works and Urban Development Officer, Toni Hudson-Bannister, who stated, “Top Notch Builders headed by Mark Robinson are executing works (West Grand Bahama Government Complex]) and to-date the site works and foundation is complete, and the reinforced concrete columns and construction is well underway.
“The Ministry of Works and Urban Development executes weekly inspections, as well as officers of the department meet here every Wednesday for site meeting and updates.
“Again, work is progressing steadily and the contractors are on target as well as the project officer Chris Symonette and Associates are being ably assisted by consultants Adrian Rollins and Diamond Consultant Group.”
According to Darville, initially the West Grand Bahama Government Complex was supposed to have been constructed in the area of Martin Town Primary School. However he revealed, “Due to the possibility of storm surge coming from the south during tropical cyclones, we needed to put it in an area that had higher ground.
“We wanted to ensure that all the Administrative Complex and essential services that would be provided as a result of the West Grand Bahama Government Complex construction, would indeed be well protected especially in following onslaught of a hurricane.
“Therefore, construction is taking place at the former City Markets/Winn-Dixie Shopping Center and individuals in West Grand Bahama would be able to properly access services from this prime location,” he explained.
“The West Grand Bahama Government Complex is moving along rather rapidly and the project has been divided into two phases, which involves the construction of the building as well as incorporate proper parking.
“The Administrative Office will be housed here as well as offices from the Ministry of Works and Urban Development, National Insurance Board, Bahamas Customs and Immigration, Department of Social Services and all other essential government services.”
Confident that West Grand Bahama residents would be pleased with the finished product once construction is complete, Darville reiterated how pleased he was with all that is being accomplished throughout the Western District.