Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Righteous indignation! ... Barbican Baptist Church blasts NWA over perimeter wall

Published:Wednesday | August 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM
There is righteous indignation among members of the Barbican Baptist Church over the collapse of a wall erected by the National Works agency.
There is righteous indignation among members of the Barbican Baptist Church over the collapse of a wall erected by the National Works agency.
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Members of Barbican Baptist Church are upset at what they deem the disrespect being shown to them by the National Works Agency (NWA) over the construction of a perimeter wall at the church.

In a guest column carried today on Page A4 of The Gleaner, pastor of the church, the Reverend Trevor Edwards, noted that it has been operating without a perimeter fence since May 16, when a replacement constructed by the NWA collapsed during heavy rains.

READ:  Must we take to the streets?

Edwards noted that as part of the $564.7-million (US$4.4-million) Barbican Road improvement project, rebuilding of a secure perimeter wall was negotiated with the NWA. The improvement project is designed to widen the corridor from the intersections at Jacks Hill Road and the roadway leading to Russell Heights, as well as East Kings House Road to the Barbican Centre.

"While the wall was being constructed, the church expressed concern about the quality and engineering integrity of the structure, but the concerns fell on deaf ears. The heavy rains that fell in April vindicated the objections raised and exposed the poor-quality work.

"Since then, the church has called, written, received promises from the NWA, but the gap is still there ... . We have been totally exposed and vulnerable, and the church is literally living on the edge. I have had to be restraining my members from going to the streets," said Edwards.

He noted that the church cooperated with the NWA, making the land available, with only one request.

"All we asked of our public servants was that the disruption to the operations of the church would be minimised, that the level of inconvenience to the church would be reduced.

"The churchyard is in a mess when it rains. Our parking space, which was already limited, has been significantly reduced. Children's lives are in danger as we have to be vigilant that they do not go near the section that now has a mini-precipice," declared Edwards.

Yesterday, acting communications manager at the NWA, Janel Ricketts, told The Gleaner that they've continued to maintain dialogue with representatives of the church and they would be moving to fix the wall in short order.

"It is being given priority and, in terms of the Barbican project, it will start this Friday (August 25)," said Ricketts.