(PRESS RELEASE) — Parliamentary Representative for Vieux Fort South, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, has called on the Minister for Economic Development Guy Joseph to disclose and explain the cost incurred in site preparation works for the so-called new wing of the St. Jude Hospital.
According to Dr Anthony: “I am advised that the site preparation works for the proposed new building on the St Jude Hospital site cost the government of Saint Lucia just over $9 million. If true, this is incomprehensible and mind-boggling.
“It must be borne in mind that this cost is solely for site preparation. It does not include the cost of the construction of the foundation of the building, which from all indications will be a steel frame supported by prefabricated concrete panels.
“How is it possible that merely removing the existing soil which incidentally was on firm ground and replacing it with backfill on such a small site could cost $9 million dollars?”
Dr Anthony added: “I believe that the minister should make public the Bill of Quantities which estimated the cost alleged to have been incurred. My attention has also been drawn to an original estimate which had indicated that site preparation would cost only $3 million. In fact, I am advised that the original drawing for the site plan had to be re-done since the costing was well beyond the initial envelope.”
The Vieux Fort South parliamentary representative said that it remains a tragedy that the current government did not complete the existing hospital. Its actions reek of disdain and contempt. In its calculated act of opportunism, it chose to incur new and additional expenditure purely to satisfy its political whims, to manifest its disregard for the parliamentary representative and the people of Vieux Fort South, and to give its friends another opportunity to make money off the backs of the hard-working citizens of this country.