Grand Bahamians, in particular, will not soon forget the names “Francis” and “Jeanne”. For too many, the effect of these back-to-back hurricanes remains very present in their lives. For too many, recovery has been long and hard; and for too many, hope has been a tough option.
Because of this, my visits to Grand Bahama are taken as occasions to renew hope and to encourage positive attitudes in a people that I know to be among the most resilient of Bahamians. I am, therefore, very pleased to be here to witness this event, which will restore and enhance a work environment befitting this District’s hardworking team.
Unfortunately and unexpectedly, in 2004, Hurricanes Francis and Jeanne brought irreparable damage to the landmark metal, pre-fabricated fire station located at East Settlers Way. Officers and staff, I am advised, continue to execute their duties from cramped accommodations in the former Mobile Division Headquarters.
The challenges of economy have caused delay of what Government committed to do since 2012. That delay, though, has not translated to denial. Grand Bahama will have a new state-of-the-art Police Fire Station from which officers can serve the population well into the future – and very soon.
Today, I am very pleased to witness the execution of a contract in the amount of $6,109,999.75 between the Government of The Bahamas and Patrick McDonald Construction Company to construct the new Police Fire Station for Grand Bahama. The contract period is not to exceed 70 weeks. The terms of the contract is the standard Government Long Form contract with some modifications.
The journey toward today began with the invitation of three (3) building contractors located in Freeport, Grand Bahama to submit competitive bids. Initial bids were submitted and publicly opened at the Ministry of Finance Tenders Board Meeting in Nassau on 16th December 2014.
A Tender Report was prepared by the Quantity Surveying Firm Veritas Consultants Ltd, and the same was presented to the Tenders Board earlier this year. A recommendation was made to Cabinet for consideration. A decision was subsequently made, and today, we bring to you the product of Cabinet’s decision.
The purposed Police Fire Station Project will be designed and built on approximately three (3) acres of relatively flat land at Fairfield East on the corner of Sergeant Major Drive and Settlers Way, East Freeport. The Government of The Bahamas appreciates then kind donation of this land by the Grand Bahama Port Authority.
The Station features an 11,660 square foot main Administrative Building, two-storey and masonry structure. The ground floor will house the daily administrative offices for its staff, as well as a reception area with public restrooms. There will also be a police training room, an operator’s office, police locker room, exercise room, day room, dining room, and kitchen. Additionally, there will be a First Aid Room for staff that may fall ill or sustain injury during working hours.
The upper floor will house police dormitory for both male and female police officers. There will be eight (8) single bedrooms, two double bedrooms and five bunk beds for male officers. The female officers will be provided housing with four (4) bunk beds, separate bathrooms, changing areas, and showers. A common laundry room will serve all officers.
Adjourning the Administrative Building is a single storey masonry fire garage will house four fire trucks and have some support spaces for storage, tools, and lockers. A grease pole will connect the garage to the dormitory level of the main building.
There will also be standalone masonry buildings to service the fire trucks and other police vehicles associated with the police fire station.
Patrick McDonald Construction Company submitted the lowest and comprehensive bid at tender. We thank the unsuccessful companies that participated in the process. We thank the Royal Bahamas Police Force Fire Branch for your tolerant professionalism. Above all, we thank Grand Bahama for your patience. Hope remains alive and well.
Hon. Philip E. Davis, Q.C., M.P.
Deputy Prime Minister/Minister
29th May 2015