Sat | Jun 23, 2018

$14-million reno budget for Ward Theatre

Published:Wednesday | June 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
A lady walks by the Ward Theatre at North Parade in downtown Kingston. It is estimated that the work on the Ward Theatre will cost $14 million, according to Town Clerk Robert Hill.

With new estimates showing that work on the Ward Theatre will cost more than $14 million, Robert Hill, town clerk, indicated that persons could expect full use of the facility at the "appropriate time".

Speaking with The Gleaner following the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation's monthly meeting yesterday, Hill noted that the figure includes both work that has started and work to be completed.

"We can't give a fixed date on it because we are working under the constrict of the JNHT (Jamaica National Heritage Trust) and, so, we have to be very careful, every step of the way, particularly because it is a registered heritage site. It's going to be slow, but steady," he told The Gleaner.

"We have regular meetings with them (stakeholders) where concerns are raised or issues [related] to how we go forward with certain things inside the theatre."

He sought to reassure citizens that every effort was being made to enhance the facility and make it accessible to all.

"The end result is that the theatre will be brought back to its former glory for full use at an appropriate time. The work continues to go steadily as the budget allows," he said.

"We have completed the procurement procedures for seating, audio-visuals and carpeting. That is now on the table to be implemented, and that could take us over the summer into September," said Hill. "The other electricals, plumbing and fixtures need to be dealt with under procurement guidelines. Our best hope is that it (opening) would not be too far from now," he added.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com