Public Works Minister, Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, today welcomed all those in attendance at the Government Quarry in Bailey’s Bay – the principal location of the Department of Works & Engineering – the home of the Asphalt Plant, Recycling Plant, Ministry Stores, Heavy Equipment and repair shops.
Speaking at a news conference this afternoon, the Minister said recalled what he termed “a long journey, an almost two year one to provide modern, state of the art Stores facility and Heavy Machinery Repair Shop”.
“We are here today to conduct the traditional Bermudian roof wetting of two buildings,” he said, before “commending and thanking all the workers” at the Quarry – “who have worked under some very trying and difficult circumstances over an extended period of time”.
“But you have stayed the course and persevered – so thank you,” said the Minister, who noted how the Ministry “has for more than four (4) years budgeted to build a new facility for the heavy Equipment Shop with little forward movement”.
“The state of disrepair of these buildings has contributed to inefficiencies and loss of productivity as the Heavy Machine shop had to be temporarily relocated to cramped accommodation at Southside and sections of stores to the old St David’s Post Office building.
“The buildings being replaced have long past their fit for purpose date.
“In the case of stores which will move from 4 locations to one building – one can readily see the potential for greater efficiencies in a stores that carries over half a million items for almost every vehicle or piece of equipment we hold,” he added.
“A minimum of parts were ordered since there was no capacity to store them. This created many problems and exacerbated the maintenance problems as large parts like tires, windshields, and mechanical parts could not be held in stock but had to be special ordered.”
Moving forward, he said: “We will transition to a modern facility and equally modern method of not only storing parts and supplies but also in tracking and managing them to provide economies of scale and cost savings in the reordering process.
“In the new building – stores will be on one floor and the high ceiling and effective racking will increase storage capacity and storage management.
“The Heavy Equipment shop has responsibility for repairing a significant number of the more than 100 pieces of vehicles and equipment held by the Ministry – work that was carried out in a building that was more than 60 years old. Much of that equipment sits outside in the elements with the anticipated detrimental effects. The new facility will allow for the repair of vehicles in a state of the art environment, out of the elements and provide for storage of vehicles under cover.
“Early in 2018 our stores supervisor, Mr. Mitchell Deshield floated the idea of purchasing the Artemis Building for use somewhere in the Ministry.
“The offer was made and accepted – to purchase the building for $250,000 – a bargain basement price I might add. The building is 20,000 sq. ft. with 4 large doors. It was decided to split the building in two to create a new stores facility and a heavy equipment shop.
“Both buildings are designed to sustain Category 5 Hurricane winds. The building actually survived Category 4 Hurricane Nicole while situated at Morgan’s Point in 2016.
“Both buildings will have a Mezzanine floor added to accommodate offices, meeting rooms and bathrooms.
“During construction of the heavy equipment store – we found that it would be cost effective to incorporate a large water tank and a permanent generator. This building will remain fully operational during any Hurricane – so will also serve as our critical command center for the Quarry operations during an emergency.
“One of our star Bermudian Civil Engineers – Carmen Trott started as the project manager and was replaced by another star Bermudian Engineer. Tina Serle after Camren was assigned to the Kings Wharf reconstruction project Construction work was carried out by local contractors following a public bidding process. The electrical work will be done by our in-house team.
“The total cost once completed will be around $4.3M – versus the cost of a new traditional build at $450 per sq ft or roughly 9 M. Essentially we are able to build these two building for half the price of a new construction within eight (8) months. This is an excellent example of recycling and cost savings.
“By building these two new facilities we fix two major operational problems at the Quarry.
“Instead of waiting to the original 2021 completion date – the buildings are completed and fit out will take a few more weeks – everything will be finished before the end of the second quarter.”
He concluded by thanking “the entire team who made this happen – ably led by the Chief Engineer Mr Yves (Bob) Lortie.
And on that note, he said: “Let’s get to the roof wetting.”