Ministry of National Security should be in new home by July
Nearly five years after the Christie administration awarded a $20 million contract for the construction of a new building to house the Ministry of National Security, the building remains vacant.
However, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said on Monday that the Minnis administration hopes to get that building completed and opened by mid-year, attributing the building’s dormancy to construction issues.
The building is located west of the Paul L. Adderley Building, which houses the Office of the Attorney General, on John F. Kennedy Drive.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work since coming into office,” Dames said on Monday.
“That particular building was plagued with a tremendous amount of problems. I’m pleased to report, however, that it’s progressing well and it is our hope that we can begin the process of moving in within a few months, by mid-year.
“We’ve been sitting with the vendor who would be responsible for the furniture, finalizing that.
“We’ve been working with the National Insurance Board, who is responsible for the building itself, and the board has been assisting us tremendously.
“So, we are pleased with where we are now and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. So we should be there shortly.”
The $20 million contract was signed with Holiday Industrial Builders in 2014.
That same year, then Minister of Housing Shane Gibson told The Nassau Guardian that the new building would house the Ministry of National Security and administrative staff from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and that it would take under two years to finish.
Asked what has been the hold-up in getting the building open, Dames said, “[There were] a lot of issues in relations to that building and it just had to be fixed, had to be repaired, had to be brought up to standards, to be brought up to code, but we’re happy where we are now.
“We’ve been working with the respective stakeholders since coming into office and we are pleased in respect to where we are now and we are hoping to get in there by June or July.”
He noted that the government was simply not satisfied with the work done to date.
When reached for comment on the minister’s comments, Lloyd Smith, the company’s principal, opted not to address the matter.
Holiday Industrial Builders was originally awarded the contract to build what is now the Paul L. Adderley Building in 2004 with a budget of $5.8 million.
In 2008, under the Ingraham administration, Holiday’s contract was terminated, after then Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said the cost of the project ballooned.
In 2012, Ingraham said the budget for the building, which was originally intended to house the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation (BMC) and the Department of Housing, had inflated to $14.1 million.