It will take roughly a year to complete renovations at Government House, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said yesterday.
“Government House was built in 1801,” Bannister said.
“The structure is now in terrible shape. It requires comprehensive work, inclusive of electrical and plumbing. The government intends to engage in a comprehensive restoration. While we will seek to complete the work within 12 months, we will not know the full extent of the works required until we actually begin the works and get into the walls.”
He continued, “Since it is an historic building, it must be properly preserved and accurately restored in the national interest, which means that great care must be taken in the restoration, so one cannot put an accurate timeline on this exercise.”
When asked how much the renovations are expected to cost, the minister said, “I cannot tell you that without prejudicing the tendering process.”
He said the government has not yet signed a contract for the project.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the government will spend $9,000 per month to rent a home in Port New Providence for Governor General C.A. Smith.
A senior government official told The Nassau Guardian that the government does not intend to cover Smith’s rent for his entire tenure as governor general and the payments were the result of ongoing “extensive” renovations at Government House.
Last week, Smith was sworn in as governor general, succeeding Dame Marguerite Pindling, who demitted office after serving for just under five years.
It followed Smith’s controversial announcement that he had resigned as ambassador and was set to become governor general after Queen Elizabeth II appointed him.
The announcement was made before any formal statement from the government.
The revelation was made public after a video of the event was posted on social media.