During Tuesday’s press briefing by Government House, Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Health Reuben Molloy presented a synopsis of the progress being made in various DOH construction projects.
With the demolition phase of the Charles Harwood Memorial Complex replacement project now underway, Mr. Molloy noted that the perimeter fence would be going up soon, and warned that people should stay away from the grounds of the facility unless they had explicit permission to be there. “Until relocated, DOH will continue some operations on the western part of the property. Access is restricted to authorized persons only. All other persons will be trespassing,” Mr. Mollow said.
Meanwhile, work was also ongoing on the new facility for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) at the Knud Hansen Complex. The work is on track to be completed this September, one year after ground was broken in September 2022. Contractors are currently working on installing plumbing, the electrical system, and main utilities. Mr. Molloy noted that the $3.7 million project is funded out of a $6.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, awarded in August 2018.
Work on the WIC building in Frederiksted is also being funded out of the 2018 USDA grant, to the tune of approximately $715,000. According to Mr. Mollow, “work is also progressing nicely on this project.” All abatement work has been completed, he says, with the whole project expected to be finished by July. After that, a project to “harden the external envelope of this facility”, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will begin.
FEMA funds will also go towards replacing the tower building of the Knud Hansen Complex on St. Thomas. While FEMA has also approved repairs to the Eldra Schultebrant facility in Anna’s Retreat, Mr. Molloy says VIDOH is pushing the federal agency to reconsider in favor of replacement, armed with structural engineering reports to support their argument.
Meanwhile on St. John, the Morris de Castro Facility has been approved for FEMA replacement, with the $17.5 million cost estimate accepted for the project.
Mr. Molloy thanked the public for their patience as the various construction projects are executed, and the employees of DOH for their efforts in ensuring things advance smoothly.
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