By Latrishka Thomas
The state-run elderly care facility, commonly known as the Fiennes Institute, was demolished by the Ministry of Works, yesterday, as the first step in retrofitting the space with new buildings.
The almost 100-year-old derelict property was gutted for construction of a new home for the elderly, which, according to the Minister of Works Lennox Weston, will begin in the next two to four weeks.
Weston told OBSERVER media that the design for the new Fiennes is exemplary.
“We are going to put down an iconic building and when you see the design, you’re going to be happy with the design. Our architectural team is very, very versed and they are very, very keen that every structure from now we build at Public Works will be an iconic structure,” he said.
Acting Head of Buildings in the Ministry of Works, Colis King, who was also on site during the demolition, said that his team’s plan is to ensure that the new buildings are structurally sound.
“These buildings were built since 1929 and they lack reinforcement and what we are going to do, we are going to properly reinforce the new structures and make sure they can withstand the hurricanes that are now coming through, which are basically Category 5 hurricanes. We see what happened in Barbuda so we are going to make sure that these can withstand the full force of these violent hurricanes,” King said.
The Fiennes Institute, which was built between 1928 and 1929 is a medical facility which provides care and accommodation for senior citizens, including those who are unable to look after themselves and those without familial support.
Late last year, the Cabinet approved a plan to temporarily relocate residents of the Fiennes Institute to the Nurses Hostel building on Queen Elizabeth Highway to make way for repairs to the facility. As a result, the Nurses Hostel building was refurbished to accommodate the elderly residents, who were relocated to their temporary accommodation on February 14th of this year.