New headquarters for housing and water ministry to be completed by year-end – Minister Croal

Minister of Housing and Water, Colin Croal, on Tuesday, led a team of senior personnel for an on-site inspection of the new headquarters under construction for the housing and water ministry.

Situated at the Houston, along the Mandela to Eccles Highway, East Bak Demerara, the complex will comprise two buildings – one designated to host the ministry’s secretariat, and the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), while the other will serve as the headquarters for the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI).

Following the inspection, Minister Croal noted the growing mandate of the ministry, hence the need for a larger and more modern building to accommodate the expanding staff.

“Our staff keeps increasing so we have an issue of accommodation so we are trying to push the contractor to be able to complete in time,” he emphasised. 

The five-story housing ministry building is being constructed at a cost of $741.5 million, while the four-story GWI building will amount to $562 million.

Addressing the ongoing construction at the housing ministry’s building, Minister Croal explained, “The building is five floors and they are at the second floor…A lot of persons have been asking, they haven’t been seeing activities, and that is because the contractor is awaiting some additional materials that have now arrived and they will recommence work.”

The frame of the building is expected to be completed by mid-year. Minister croal reported that all aspects of the construction are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“The projected completion would be by the middle of this year, but in terms of the other amenities, air conditioning…you have to put in cubicles etcetera, to accommodate the new office spaces. So, what we are aiming for is that the new year [2025] we must start in this new location,” he stated. 

The minister highlighted that the new building is expected to streamline the ministry’s operations, boosting efficiency and effectiveness. Centralising all offices in one location will simplify business transactions for individuals, he noted.

However, the projects department with approximately 200 staff will be housed at the existing location.

Chief Executive Officer of the CH&PA, Serwyn Greaves noted that between 400 to 500 persons visit the office daily.

He remarked, “There wouldn’t be this cluster and this cramped environment anymore so it will be a pleasure visiting, its already a pleasure when you go for an allocation, but it will be an added pleasure, of the atmosphere and the ambience that you would get when you visit the institution.”

Meanwhile, construction of the headquarters for GWI has commenced, and Chief Executive Officer Sheik Baksh noted efforts to encourage the contractor to complete the work before the 18-month contract duration.

Currently, GWI is renting four buildings across Georgetown to accommodate its officers, incurring a significant cost.

“We feel that will be adequate to complete the building and do the yard work in terms of the parking, air condition and everything so that GWI can move very quickly to occupy this building quickly, Baksh stated.

Minister Croal reiterated that the aim is to have both agencies occupying the new headquarters in the new year.

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