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DVES Facility Groundbreaking

Minister for Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, Hon. Joey Hew (sixth from left) led the ground breaking for a new facility for DVES. From left: Project Manager from PWD, Mr. Alan Robinson; DVES oldest employee of 44 years, Mr. Ernest Ebanks; Deputy Director, Mr. Stephen Quinland; Ministry Chief Officer, Mr. Alan Jones; DVES Director Mr. Richard Simms; Minister Hon. Hew; Councillor and MLA, Mr. David Wight; Edgewater's Ms Debbie Bergstrom; PWD Director, Mr. Max Jones; Senior Project Manager from PWD, Ms Niasha Brady and Project Management Team Member, Mr. Jerome Wilson.

Minister for Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, Hon. Joey Hew led ministry staff at a ground-breaking for "long-awaited" upgrades to the Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services (DVES).

Held at the North Sound Road facility, the event on Friday, 16 February 2018 celebrated coming upgrades to the administration building in Phase One, and overhauls to the vehicle repairing bays, the parking lot and the government fuel facility in Phase 2. DVES is the main auto repair and fuel dispensing facility for over 1,000 government vehicles.

Minister Hew said the upgrades have been a "long-time coming" and badly needed and have an approved total budget of $6.6 million ($6,655,000).

He commented that during a tour of the facility when he assumed office as Minister, he noticed that working conditions were cramped and less than ideal. "If we are to be considered a first class financial centre, a first class tourism destination, a first class civil service, then we must provide our people with the tools and the facilities to be just that - first class," Minister Hew emphasised.

"I am therefore very pleased that this ground breaking signals the start of positive change that will provide a modern, comfortable and safer working environment that will allow the DVES staff to service their clients more efficiently and effectively," he said.

Additionally, the parking lot which caters to staff vehicles and those of public sector clients, whether it be a huge dump truck or a smaller government vehicle, is also currently very congested, , he noted. The newly expanded parking lot will go a long way towards alleviating congestion and making the space safer to use, Minister Hew added.

Reiterating that the redevelopment of the 40-year-old facility was long overdue, DVES Director, Mr. Richard Simms, reported that, back in 1977, the department was first established as the Central Funding Scheme (CFS). In 1981 it became the Department of Vehicles and Equipment Services (DVES).

The staff looked forward keenly to the redevelopment "which will certainly create a better and safer working environment for all of us," Mr. Simms told the gathering.

Currently, mechanics have to battle the elements when doing their work, including repairs to government vehicles. Similarly, the stores unit hopes to move away from cramped and unsafe conditions that included cumbersome shelving, as well as unbearable temperatures.

The Finance and Administration unit also faces inadequate storage, poor ventilation as the area has no windows, high traffic and leaks from the rain, "all of which have made it very difficult and uncomfortable for them to work," he elaborated.

The redevelopment includes an upgrade to the government fuel facility (GFF) which will receive fuel equipment consisting of new tanks and pumps.

Mr. Simms explained that phase one of the redevelopment would comprise a 8,732 sq.ft., two-storey administration building. This facility is slated to cost $2,924,566 with an expected completion date of early April 2019, with works commencing on 15 January 2018.

Senior Project Manager from Public Works Department, Ms Niasha Brady stated the category 4 hurricane rated building will consist of office spaces, a conference room, reception and storage areas. The overall redevelopment including new garages will be 32,000 sq.ft., she added.

Construction contractors are local Edgewater Group.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Bina Mani




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