Statement by Honourable Kye Rymer
Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities
Contract Signing Ceremony for Procurement and Installation of Impact Resistant Windows, Doors and Frames
at The Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex
August 11th 2020
Good Morning to All,
The signing of this contract with DesignBVI Limited for the Procurement and Installation of Impact Resistant Windows, Doors and Frames at the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration complex for the amount of Two Million, Ninety Two Thousand, Thirty Seven Dollars and Fifty Two Cents ($2,092,037.52) marks the transition in earnest for the undertaking of renovation and repair works to the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex. Notwithstanding that we have ongoing works to the repair of the skylights and installation of lightning protection; and the completed works to the roof membrane; the signing of this contract and the completion of these works will represent a substantial improvement on the appearance of the Administration Complex and progress of the works to restore and upgrade this facility.
Everyone would recall the level of devastation visited upon the Virgin Islands by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 and the sight of damage done to the then Central Administration Complex was quite substantial. Many of the glass doors and windows were either blown in or damaged severely and the contents within the office spaces thrown about.
The Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities through the Facilities Management Unit undertook the responsibility to board up the Administration Complex to protect office spaces and personnel working within the Complex from rain, wind and other elements.
Despite these efforts to temporarily secure the Complex, there is great need to remove and replace all temporary plywood barriers and damaged glass to restore and upgrade all external windows and doors. Therefore, the Government of the Virgin Islands will be contracting DesignBVI Limited to undertake the removal of all plywood barriers, replacing windows and doors and for the installation of new external impact resistant glass windows and doors for the entire Administration Complex.
On 12th February, 2020, the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands agreed to award a contract to DesignBVI Limited for the amount of Two Million, Three Hundred and Twenty Eight Thousand, and Eighty Two Dollars and Seventy Seven Cents ($2,328,082.77) subject to negotiations. Subsequent negotiations with DesignBVI Limited saw a reduction in the cost to this contract amount of $2,092,037.52, which is a savings of Two Hundred and Thirty Six Thousand, Forty Five Dollars and Twenty Five Cents ($236,045.25).
I want to say as Minister responsible for the renovation and repair works to the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex that despite the challenges posed by Covid-19 that we are progressing well with the works at the Administration Complex.
We have recently signed a contract for the insurance of the Administration Complex for a one year period inclusive of contractor’s all risk, public liability and perils such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, to ensure this critical asset is protected.
We have signed a contract for the purchase of a new automatic transfer switch to facilitate the power supply at the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex and we are in discussion to obtain a new generator to replace the existing generator.
In short order, we would be issuing several small contracts for the demolition of the various office spaces and rooms at the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex. This aligns directly with the statement made by the Honourable Premier and Minister of Finance on 9th August, 2020 about the Economic Boost for the Construction Industry by creating works for this industry to benefit our entire economy.
In short order we would be issuing a tender document for the design and construction of the new underground parking area on the West Atrium.
Also in short order we would be issuing a tender document for the construction of a new elevator shaft and ancillary items on the West Atrium.
The Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities is working steadfastly to ensure that the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex is completed in a timely manner and within budget. We are also ensuring that all local contractors can benefit from this project and provide their own personal contribution to this signature landmark building.
I do want to assure the Government officials and members of the public that although we are signing this contract today, do not expect to see works on the Complex to replace the glass windows and doors commencing tomorrow. We are cognizant that we are in the peak of the hurricane season and do not want to increase our liability by undertaking major works of this type during the season. Also, there is a design review and procurement process for these customized glass windows and doors that is likely to take a few months. Therefore, the actual works will be commencing, as confirmed by Mr. O’Neal in December or thereabouts.
Notwithstanding that, we would be doing works behind the scenes as it relates to procuring the glass windows and doors.
I look forward to the excellent work to be performed by Mr. Colin O’Neal and his team in providing his services to the Government of the Virgin Islands. Mr. O’Neal is one of several standard bearers in property development and I am happy that he can provide this level of service to assist us in the renovation of the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex.
I thank you for your indulgence as we continue to progress the renovation works of the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex to the landmark facility that it once was.