Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre??

"Under budget and on time!"

This was the key message sent by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy to Barbadians as he provided an update on the extension project currently under way at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC).

Speaking prior to a tour of the project, the Minister noted that the first phase, the demolition work, relating to the construction of new offices, had been completed. He said the contract, awarded last year at a cost of some $960,000, was completed successfully and under budget at a cost of $828,755.18.

"I am happy to say that we are actually under budget so far and on time… a public sector project under budget and on time. The first phase has gone strictly according to plan and without any surprises as far as the tax payers of this country are concerned," he said.

Commending the work done by consultants on the project, he stressed: "We need to single them out for some good work as far as the planning, advice and guidance they are giving to Government.

This is not an easy job; understand it is not a green field site that you are building from fresh; it is an existing footprint, an existing building [and] you are changing the use of it.

"And, It is very challenging for the consultants and for them to have brought us to a point where I am in a position, to say to you that we are under budget, speaks volumes for some good technical work that has been done, and also gives me confidence to go forward in terms of setting the parameters for the project."

Turning his attention to the construction of the car park, Minister Sealy said preliminary work had been started on that phase with the particular contract having been awarded to PreConco Ltd. Acknowledging that it had been negotiated under what had been budgeted, he said this was also good news. ??"The consultants had reckoned we would have been looking at approximately $9.5 million or so and we have been able to successfully negotiate a design build arrangement with PreConco for $8.5 million. The advantage with that again is that with a design build arrangement, it is very difficult to have extras and overruns."

The expansion project at the LESC includes 86,000 square feet of land area that will provide office space for the private and public sectors and a multi-storey car park with seven levels that will accommodate approximately 300 cars. The car park is expected to be ready by 2011, while the entire project should be handed over by 2013.

Minister Sealy was accompanied on the tour by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Andrew Cox; consultants on the project; Chairman of Barbados Conference??Services Ltd, Algy Leacock; Project Manager for the Extension Project, Sanjay Amin of BCQS Ltd, and Quantity Surveyor of Design Collaborative, George Holder.


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