The state-owned National Insurance Scheme (NIS) has embarked on a 28 million dollar expansion project that would create 100 jobs for locals.
The project to be executed by a team of Caribbean professionals utilises the one acre reclaimed land purchased by the NIS facility in 2004 from the St George’s new Port Company along Melville Street in St George’s.
The consultants selected to execute the project are Joseph John and Associates (Grenada), Project Manager, SRM Architects (Barbados), Architects, BBFL (Trinidad and Tobago) in Association with Glean’s Engineering (Grenada), Civil and Structural Engineers, Mechanical Electrical and Plumbing Engineering Services, Ramps Engineering (Trinidad and Tobago), Quantity Surveyors – Construction Advisory Services (Grenada), and Geo Technical Investigations – Geotechnical Investigation Services (Grenada).
The firm that won the award to construct the building for $19.3 Million is
Quinn Company Limited of Grenada, which has already taken possession of the site to begin work.
When completed, the building will house the offices of the NIS and twelve commercial areas to be made available for rent to the public.
During a press briefing last week Friday at the NIS, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Philbert Lewis, said they have been waiting for the past three years to commence the project, but utilized the delayed period to use the vacant lot for vehicle parking to earn revenue and help to ease parking congestion in the town of St George.
Lewis believes that the investment being undertaken by NIS for the project could be recovered in 12 to 14 years through the rental of the new commercial spaces to be created and the rental of its existing building along Melville Street.
“We believe that the timing is right as we are confident that the world economy is climbing out of the recession that has adversely affected everyone for the last five years”, he said.
“This project would therefore provide enhanced working and business environment as well as provide an income stream well into the future”, he added.
Construction of the facility is expected to take up to one year.
Social Security Minister, Sylvester Quarless who attended the function said that the project will create much needed employment for approximately 100 people within the construction industry and that the material purchased from local hardware companies and the payment of salaries will boost the economy.
He expressed confidence that the completion of the facility would provide opportunities for small entrepreneurs and self-employed persons to establish businesses and create long-term employment for some persons and increase business activity in St George’s.
Quarless challenged the project team and contractor to execute the project in such a manner that it will be a model for similar projects to be undertaken in the private or public sector.
“Let it be a model in so far as the quality of the workmanship and esthetics. Let it be a model in ensuring that it is completed in the scheduled time and within the projected budget.
“Let it be a model for Caribbean integration with a Bajan Architect, Trinidadian engineers, Grenadian project managers and Quantity Surveyors, working in harmony with Grenadian workmen to produce a signature project.
“Let it be a showpiece for the historic town of St George’s not only for locals but indeed it will be one of the first sights to greet the thousands of cruise visitors that come to our shores annually.
SRM Architects Ltd has experience working in Grenada and Erskin Rose, partner of the company said the project is an exciting one that will speak to the history of the area, sustainability, green spaces, low energy lighting fixtures using LED and energy efficient Air Condition systems.
The last project done in Grenada by SRM Architect’s was the multi-million dollar reconstruction of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in St George’s after it was damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.