August 18, 2022

The Editor Speaks: Major renovations to a George Town landmark

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I must have been taking too much of the Cayman Islands sun and gone to sleep but I missed any announcement of major renovations to one of our George Town landmarks.

The George Town Hall is to receive a major renovation involving a second storey.

The George Town Town Hall is also known as The Peace Memorial Town Hall and was built in 1932 by Capt. Rayal Bodden who also built the George Town Library. Both these are Listed Buildings by the National Trust. The Library was itself the subject of a major renovation a few years ago.

However, the Town Hall is more of a National Treasure and its prominence and historical importance is second to none.

With such an important event I would have expected a Government Press Release and plans being given to us but this has not happened.

To place an additional storey on the building is not exactly a small undertaking and will mean the building will be out of action for some time.

And what is the second storey going to be used for?

Ah. What indeed? My spies tell me one part of it is to be used by FLOW (not confirmed) and the other is to be renovated as an apartment (again not confirmed).

What is confirmed is that tenders for the renovation works are already being sought.

So why the silence by The Public Works Department? Silence by the Government?

Are they afraid there might be a public outcry that would put a stop to the planning?

If they had been upfront some of what is likely to happen now could have been avoided.

There was no way of concealing it from the public.

Of course we are now going to get the typical Gobble de gook Press release which will be at least 300 words telling us very little but we can all be assured the work will be done as quickly as possible with little or no inconvenience to the public and the building will be put together again as it was and even better.

With another storey on it it wont exactly be the same will it? And with this addition will it be hurricane proof? Of course it will be.

And will the Peace Memorial be at peace with it? Better ask the Clock Tower? That is always silent. But time will tell.

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