Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Rethink Heroes Circle works

Published:Tuesday | March 29, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Late last year, Dr Omar Davies, then minister of transport, works and housing, announced a plan by the then Government to spend $2.5 billion in redeveloping National Heroes Park in downtown Kingston.

In outlining the scope of work to be carried out, Dr Davis said that the project was divided into five distinct zones, including a shrine for national heroes, a

passive contemplative zone, an active zone, and a building to replace Gordon House.

Inasmuch as I am in full support of the total development of the National Heroes Circle property, I do believe that some aspects of the proposed development requires serious re-evaluation.

Dr Davies told the audience attending the signing ceremony then that as Jamaicans, we should not be frightened by the $2.5-billion cost.

I don't think this project has been properly conceptualised given that $2.5-billion funding is being undertaken with money from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the Culture, Health, Arts, Sport and Education Fund.

I propose that the current administration consider re-examining the project with a view of having a more comprehensive development of the entire National Heroes Circle into a hub of government ministries and agencies.

Currently, there are three ministries located at National Heroes Circle: Finance, Education, Labour and Social Security.

In addition to a new Parliament building, there should be several multistorey, state-of-the-art solar-fitted office spaces built to house the various ministries and agencies of Government in a centralised location within the National Heroes Circle and referred to as Government Square.

This development should also include improvement to Tom Redcam, Caledonia and Marescaux roads.

Funding should be sought through loans from outside sources similar to that which was accessed to implement projects which could be repaid overtime with mony saved from pricey rentals uptown.