Statement by Honourable Kye Rymer
Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities
Contract Signing Ceremony for Architectural Design; Engineering; Construction Supervision
and Contract Management of The Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex
May 15th 2020
The signing of the contract with OBM Limited to provide architectural and engineering designs, construction supervision and contract management for the amount of One million forty eight thousand, four hundred and sixty dollars and eighty cents ($1,048,460.80) marks the official commencement of the renovation and repair work to the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex. As Minister responsible for the repair works to the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex, it gives me great pleasure to see this contract signing taking place and it signifies the continued efforts of my ministry to move forward with the renovation works of the Administration Complex.
On 16th January 2019, the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands agreed to award a contract to OBM Limited for the amount of Two million, seven hundred and four thousand, forty dollars and thirty four cents ($2,704,040.34) subject to negotiations. Subsequent negotiations with OBM Limited which involved the Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities, and the Ministry of Finance resulted in revised terms of reference. Through continued discussions with OBM Limited, we were able to achieve a substantial reduction in the initial financial proposal; a savings of approximately $1.6 Million.
OBM Limited will be responsible for providing the following services under this contract signed as follows:
• Architectural and Engineering designs, construction supervision and contract management of the entire Mechanical System or Air Conditioning System and associated components of the Administration Complex
• Architectural designs, construction supervision and contract management of the entire information and telecommunication system of the Administration Complex
• Architectural and Engineering designs, construction supervision and contract management of a new elevator on the West Atrium
• Architectural designs and construction supervision to repair all damages to the external building cladding
• Construction supervision of the replacement of all external glass windows, doors and frames of the Administration Complex
• Design review of interior designs of the internal office spaces
The Ministry of Transportation, Works, and Utilities will be responsible for developing and designing the interior office spaces and the construction supervision and contract management of the interior office spaces.
We can all agree that the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex sustained extensive damages in 2017 with the passage of Hurricane Irma. Subsequently, the Government of the Virgin Islands took the decision last year to secure our most valuable resource, you the people of the Virgin Islands; all public officers, and visitors to the Administration Complex. At present, the majority of the departments/ministries that once occupied the Administration Complex have vacated to rented facilities and we anticipate that by July all departments/ministries would be relocated.
The Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex renovation and repair works have been hindered by delays over the past two years, evident by the current progress of the works. But since taking office in early 2019, the renovation and repair works of this Complex have been one of my top priorities. Despite not having the consultancy contract with OBM Limited in place, my ministry has moved forward with the signing and execution of the roof membrane replacement works, which are substantially complete and the replacement of all the skylights, which is approximately 50% complete. In short, order, once the relevant personnel is able to enter the Virgin Islands we would commence the installation of the lightning protection system.
I am also pleased to say that we should be back at a next contract signing ceremony in a few short weeks for the replacement of all the external glass windows, doors and frames of the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex with new impact-resistant glass windows and doors, which is a major step in the renovation works. We anticipate that the fabrication and procurement of the glass windows and doors will take a few months and we anticipate that the actual works on site will commence after the passage of the hurricane season.
The Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities has developed a comprehensive work program that sets out a budget and schedule for each individual work package towards the complete renovation and repair of the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex. Some of the immediate works that will be upcoming over the next few months include:
• Replacement of all external glass windows, doors and frames
• Replacement of the generator and automatic transfer switch
• Demolition of all temporary walls, flooring, and ceiling within the office spaces
• Replacement of the existing elevator cabin and mechanical components in the East Atrium
• Demolition, deep cleaning and mold remediation of the basement
Finally, as the member in the House of Assembly that moved the motion to rename the Central Administration Complex to the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration, I believe that he was a man of class and quality as the first Premier of the Virgin Islands. The name of someone carries a legacy that lives on even after the person has passed on. Therefore, it is my mission to ensure that the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex personifies the legacy of the Late Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE as a landmark facility of high class and quality as we renovate and upgrade the facility and the services to something that we all as Virgin Islanders can be proud of.
I thank you for your indulgence and I look forward to the great services that will be rendered by OBM Limited in doing their part in the renovation of the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex.