Completion of Police Barracks delayed
Monday, October 7th, 2013
In an effort to improve the dilapidated barracks in which San Pedro police officers had to reside, Coastal Executive Officer in Charge Luis Castellanos, with the assistance of the San Pedro business community and the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) begun the construction of a new barracks to upgrade the living conditions of the town’s officers. According to the project plans, the two story structure will have eight rooms, each equipped with a private bathroom and mini balcony. Demolition of the old barracks and construction of the new wooden building commenced on Friday, May 3rd, but today construction has stopped due to many reasons but will resume in the coming weeks.
Initially Gricel Graniel from Matachica Resort, Mukul Kanabar from Phoenix Resort, Brent Kirkman from Victoria’s House Resort and David Hess from Las Terrazas Resort pledged a total of $20,000 towards the construction of a unit that would comfortably house eight officers. Contractor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez estimated the project to be completed in about six weeks and would cost an approximately $60,000 more.
With the help of further donations from Tropic Air, Seaside Real Estate, Seaside Real Estate, Mary Beissner, Holiday Hotel, Grand Belizean Estates,Pelican Reef Villas, Sol Spa, Searious Adventures, The Palms, Carts Belize, Xanadu Island Resort, and Scott Richmond, the foundation, framing and roofing of the structure was completed but no further work has been made to the building. The building is still lacking details, interior and exterior walls, not to mention necessary interior details.
In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Castellanos stated that construction was delayed due to several reasons, but that it will resume in the coming weeks. Contractor Nuñez is volunteering his time and workers to construct the barracks and as such, has to manage time with his other commitments. “Gaby was kind enough to construct the barracks for us free of charge, but he also has other contracts to complete. And it is completely understandable that we have to work out a way to get all things done,” said Castellanos. September was also a busy month, and coupled with heavy rains, no construction work could be done.
However, the biggest issue affecting construction is lack of funds. Even though San Pedro Business community assisted greatly, Central Government has not offered assistance. Without the proper funding, the project cannot be completed. “For now the construction will continue only till the point where the funds we have allow us. We cannot complete the project without additional funds. We have petitioned the Government of Belize to assist us in remedying the living conditions of my officers, but they have still not given us any monetary help,” said Castellanos. “We will continue to ask the San Pedro community for assistance to finish the temporary barracks.”
$70,000 is still required for the project’s completion which includes furnishing costs which was not included in the initial estimate. Anyone interested in making a donation can visit the San Pedro Police Station during normal working hours.