Demolition of the General Post Office at East Hill Street, which will make way for the construction of the new Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB), should begin before the end of next month, according to the bank’s Governor John Rolle. Meantime, a public notice has been officially released to announce the demolition of the Clarence A. Bain Building over the next four months.
During a press conference on Monday at the Central Bank, Rolle explained that the demolition of the post office building will begin “before the end of the first quarter”.
And a gazetted government notice posted this week announced that the demolition of the Clarence A. Bain Building will take place from February 2 to June 2.
Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister told Guardian Business yesterday that the contractor for the demolition has begun working on removing asbestos from the building.
Asbestos has been pegged as a dangerous material and is banned in many countries. It is not banned in The Bahamas.
According to asbestos.com: “Over decades, trapped asbestos fibers can cause inflammation, scarring and eventually genetic damage to the body’s cells. A rare and aggressive cancer called mesothelioma is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos also causes other forms of cancer as well as progressive lung disease.”
The Clarence A. Bain Building was once being considered for repurposing as a dormitory for the University of The Bahamas, before it was discovered that the building was no longer structurally sound and it was consequentially condemned.
As for the construction of the new Central Bank, Rolle said the CBOB continues to work “diligently” on finalizing the real estate transaction for the Royal Victoria Gardens build site.
“It’s really at this point a real estate transaction in terms of getting the paperwork completed,” Rolle said.
“Between the first quarter and the second quarter you should begin to see some site preparation.”
Bannister said the CBOB has a master plan for the area, which along with the new U.S. Embassy, will transform a dated area of Downtown Nassau.