PM: Heritage buildings back in shape by December

White­hall should be the home of the Cab­i­net once again by the end of June, Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley has an­nounced.

The Prime Min­is­ter, while ad­dress­ing a Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment po­lit­i­cal meet­ing in Ch­agua­nas on Tues­day, said the restora­tion of White­hall, was mere­ly a part of con­tin­u­ing re­fur­bish­ment of the Mag­nif­i­cent Sev­en, which he said should trans­form Queen’s Park West by De­cem­ber.

“I want to in­vite all of you in this en­tire na­tion to trav­el around Queen’s Park West by Christ­mas, and it will be the finest street in the Caribbean be­cause all of our her­itage build­ing would have been re­stored, ren­o­vat­ed and back in shape,” said Row­ley.

White­hall had housed the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter up un­til 2009.

Stollmey­er’s Cas­tle was re­opened last year, while restora­tion work had al­so be­gun on Mille Fleurs, which Row­ley said was al­most de­mol­ished.

“Work has start­ed on one of the build­ings, which the en­gi­neers were telling us might have to be de­mol­ished be­cause it had been so bad­ly de­te­ri­o­rat­ed; Mille Fleurs. With Cuban ex­per­tise and lo­cal con­trac­tors, work has start­ed on Mille Fleurs and we are ex­pect­ing to com­plete that work by the end of the year.”

The Prime Min­is­ter al­so an­nounced that Par­lia­ment will al­so re­turn to an­oth­er his­tor­i­cal build­ing which has been sub­ject to restora­tion work; the Red House.

Since 2011, the Par­lia­ment has been housed at Tow­er D at the Port-of-Spain Wa­ter­front, as restora­tion work con­tin­ued on the build­ing.

“By Re­pub­lic Day the Par­lia­ment will open in the Red House,” he said. The Prime Min­is­ter said the 13 floors cur­rent­ly oc­cu­pied at Tow­er D, at the Wa­ter­front Com­plex will be opened up for oth­er use.

He said the ren­o­va­tion of the build­ing was closed at a cost that is $425 m less than what the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment had pro­ject­ed.

Row­ley said this move would al­low for the Low­er House and the Sen­ate to have si­mul­ta­ne­ous sit­tings.

The Prime Min­is­ter al­so ex­plained that Cli­co had been moved from their St Vin­cent Street build­ing, and are ex­pect­ed to oc­cu­py the site which for­mer­ly housed the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture in St Clair, paving the way for Ca­bil­do Cham­bers which for­mer­ly housed the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al’s of­fice to be­come Par­lia­ment of­fices.

- by Peter Christopher