Repairs to old Magistrate’s Court building tipped for completion by September

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Grays Green Community Centre where the St John’s Magistrate’s Court currently operates from (left), and the old St John’s Magistrate’s Court building on the corner of High and Temple Streets (File photos)
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By Latrishka Thomas

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After enduring a series of challenges and setbacks, the restoration of the St John’s Magistrate’s Court building on High Street is finally nearing completion.

Minister of Lands and Housing Maria Browne provided an update recently, expressing optimism that the long-awaited repairs would soon be finished, allowing the court to return to its original location by September.

The renovation project faced multiple hurdles, with financing and shortages of essential construction materials being among the major roadblocks. Minister Browne acknowledged the difficulties, stating, “We had issues in terms of the availability of cement, steel, and sometimes sand.”

Despite the challenges, she revealed some positive news, disclosing that earlier this year, “the major construction work, including casting, stairs, floors, window installations, and roofing, had been successfully completed. At present, only a few finishing touches, such as tiling, painting, and other minor work, remain” to be done before the building can be fully operational.

She said that once the final work is completed, the court will be furnished and ready to serve the public once again in its rightful location.

In December 2018, court workers complained to the Ministry of Legal Affairs about the deplorable state of the building and gave authorities three months to relocate them.

The temporary measure employed was to relocate staff to the “Knuckle Block” community centre in Grays Green.

However, the estimated six weeks became years, also angering Grays Green residents keen to regain use of their sports facility.

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