HeadKnowles (HK) Communications Director Crystal Holder said yesterday the charity intends to open a distribution center at the old Phil’s Food Services building on Gladstone Road by Wednesday.
Since Hurricane Dorian devastated Abaco and Grand Bahama earlier this month, HK has been using the New Providence Community Church (NPCC) as a venue to distribute aid to storm victims.
“Remember now, NPCC was a temporary location because, of course, we had to jump right into action and they’re always willing to assist,” Holder said
“…They have their regular day-to-day activities and we realized that this is going to be for quite some time that we’re going to need to do this.
“We have no timeline as to how long but certainly NPCC is a private organization and we couldn’t certainly utilize the outside of their facility and the inside too much longer.”
Holder said HK considered at least three other locations before selecting the Gladstone Road site.
Asked when the location was expected to be ready, Holder said, “It should be [ready] in another day or two.
“We started yesterday moving the stuff in and cleaning up the yard area. An inspection would’ve already been done to the building itself so I would say in another day or two.”
Holder could not say why that specific location was chosen, however, she noted that HK inspected the site last week.
“I know that we had looked at a number of buildings at the time and, of course, we needed something that was going to be relatively quick in terms of getting,” she said.
In May 2018, the government acquired the Phil’s Food Services building with plans of relocating the General Post Office to the location.
However, the government decided to relocate the post office to the Town Centre Mall instead.
In October, Minister of Transport and Local Government Renward Wells tabled a resolution in Parliament seeking approval for the government to enter into a five-year lease with the owners of the mall, who include then Cabinet minister Brent Symonette, to house the post office.
The resolution noted that the government had worked to acquire the old Phil’s Food Services building on Gladstone Road, “but only recently discovered that the latent (hidden) structural defects and other technical issues would require a massive expenditure of taxpayer dollars in conducting extensive renovations to the entire building which would take at least a year or more”.
Yesterday, Holder said she was unable to comment on such defects.