Bodden Town church and school to become shelters

| 29/01/2019 | 45 Comments
Cayman News Service

Bodden Town church building

(CNS): Work on the Bodden Town Church of God multi-purpose hall to convert it into a hurricane shelter as well as progress on adapting the primary school will see the hurricane shelter provision in the district improve considerably, though neither facility will be ready for this season. Deputy Opposition Leader Alva Suckoo thanked government this week for activating the projects, but he remains concerned about the 2019 hurricane season and said he plans to meet with Hazard Management Cayman Islands to see what arrangements can be made for this year.

Suckoo said in a release from the opposition that he was heartened that the long-delayed church hall project is now moving forward, but the availability and standards of hurricane shelter provisions for the district for the 2019 season are still on the worry list.

“Beyond the immediate concerns, we hope that there will be no delays in the resumption of works for the completion of the Church of God multi-purpose hall, and that the upgrading of the school’s auditorium will move forward with the necessary haste,” he said. “These delays are not without serious associated risks.”

Suckoo has been advocating for some time for improvements in the shelter provision for the Bodden Town district, given the population numbers there and the lack of existing suitable facilities. Work on the church hall stopped in 2011 due to the church’s cash flow problems, even after getting some $180,000 from the controversial Nation Building Fund.

However, after another $2 million was allocated for a shelter in Cayman Brac in June 2017, opposition MLAs in Bodden Town pressed government about their district’s needs and work on the church hall resumed.

Suckoo had asked for $125,000 to re-start the Bodden Town church building to make it serviceable as a shelter and Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell promised to help secure funding. When no money had materialized by September 2017, Suckoo pressed the issue in a parliamentary question tabled at the Cayman Brac meeting of the Legislative Assembly last year. But it was not until this month that Planning Minister Joey Hew re-initiated the project.

Government is now seeking bids by qualified architectural design consultants, which will set in motion the construction work. Church officials have said that they intend to remain closely involved and will be organising a core group of members skilled and experienced in construction to maintain a level of oversight to ensure maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Plans for upgrading the Bodden Town Primary School assembly hall are also progressing, Suckoo noted, but that too is unlikely to be ready before the end of hurricane season on 30 November 2019.

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Category: Government Finance, Local News, Politics

Comments (45)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Will it have a Laundromat?

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Church officials have said that they intend to remain closely involved and will be organising a core group of members skilled and experienced in construction to maintain a level of oversight to ensure maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness.”

    Isn’t this what caused the problems in the first instance? And will they allow gays to seek shelter there?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    To all the negative people who are looking for an excuse to cry down anything positive here are a few thoughts:

    1. Its not a church its a community center
    2. The district has NO Cat5 shelters
    3. The district has the least amount of shelter space compared to other districts except West Bay
    4. It would cost a lot more to construct a new building as there are no other Govt owned buildings in the district which can be upgraded
    5. This will cost less to complete than a new building
    6. People have no where to go in the event we get another Ivan
    7. The Church will maintain the building so the operational costs will not be for Govt to pay
    8. The district has no building that can host Graduations, Concerts and other school events, as it is the two primary schools host events as far away as Red Bay Church
    9. The district badly needs a multi-purpose hall to host community events
    10. This building will can also host after-school programs, senior day-time events and so much more
    11. The Church has taken on a large portion of the works themselves and now need a little help completing it.
    12. Bodden Town needs this project completed, the MLAs see the need and are trying to get it done, we thank them for their efforts, all 4 of them.

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    • anonymous says:

      I an understand that Government might not have wanted to issue a costing on the works before it is put out to tender and the contractor is selected.

      But I can guarantee you that it will not cost any where near $5 million to complete the woks on the multi-purpose hall.

      It is unfortunate that that unsourced and unsupported figure was put out there.

    • Anonymous says:

      We need a shelter, we just don’t need more churches and priests. It was a new building which was always (from conception) designated to be a shelter. We need a shelter. What we don’t need is yet another church facility or preachers having a say in the running of the building. It should be a public building church should have nothing to do with it. The funds they used already were public, not church funds, from the sleazy ‘nation-building’ fund as it was known back then.

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      • Bodden Towner says:

        Get your facts straight before talking nonsense as it is evident that you know nothing about how this building came about.

        The original plan was for the church’s multi-purpose building.
        Due to its location Government became involved as a joint venture for it to also be used as hurricane shelter.

        Your claim that all funds used were public funds and not church funds is also false, stop spreading propaganda.

        Your negativity toward churches is obvious but you are probably one of the first people who run to them for prayers and assistance when you are in trouble.
        Those same preachers are the ones who will pray for you and your loved ones and help when others turn away and pretend not to see you.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Where is the JV agreement and payback schedule? Oh yeah…

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        • Anonymous says:

          Praying about your problems is literally talking to yourself about your problems and expecting change to magically occur

          Praying for a cancer cure didn’t save my uncle unfortunately.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    So, the (close-to-broke) Cayman Islands gov’t is allocating millions of dollars of our public budget to the Church of God of Anderson, Indiana, or is it Church of God of Cleveland, Tennessee? We aren’t even pretending to finance their money-making, tithe-exporting edifices for them – we’re gifting them? Why would we build ANY churches for Billion-dollar religious organizations with fully-staffed global public-private-partnership finance departments? Think Cayman.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Going forward who is going to ensure it stays at the standard of a hurricane shelter? Who is going to inspect it to say it’s fit for purpose at the beginning of every season and who is going to pay for repairs if needed? Seems to me this needs to a budgeted for by CIG, probably Hazard Managemnt, every year. I would not like to trust my life, and my family’s life, to a building built to standard, but with no on going funding in place and no ongoing commitment by CIG. After all it might be ready by 2020, but not necessarily used as a shelter for several years. In all the stories past and present about this and, other shelter projects, there has been no mention of future proofing.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    We have learned nothing from NBF fiasco: if OUR public money is being used, this must be a public-owned government shelter. If Church of God want to then RENT or LEASE the shelter from the public purse, and use it as a church they can pay to do so as a tenant. Church of God cede title to CIG. No more corrupt mutli-million political church gifts in advance of elections, regardless of theoretical occasional multi-purpose aspects of the building!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    With CIG injecting $5Million into this project, who will own the building and land after it is done?

    Will it be:

    The Pastor?

    The Govt?

    The Cabinet Secretary?

    Who?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, no one seems to know where that figure of $5 million came from — church officials disavow it. CNS, has anything been issued by Government on this? I saw a reference to it in a Compass story, but they did not actually source that information. The Compass article said: “Government has NOT stated how much it will cost to finish the development, but in 2016 that figure was estimated to be $5 million.”

      It is an almost fully enclosed building—it hardly seems likely that completion should cost $5 mil.

      What is more likely is that a quantity surveyor did an estimation possibly in 2016 of the value of the property and building at completion for bank purposes. That would include the property value with all works done up to that time. Since then also, the church has undertaken work to enclose the building.

      I suppose that the next step after the design drawings have been completed (an obvious question is why they are being re-done), will be putting it out to tender for the final works, at which time there will be an available figure on the costs of completing the building.

      I suggest that we wait for that outcome before jumping to conclusions that seem to be based on inaccurate information or assumptions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who says it will cost $5 million to be completed? The cost of completion will only come from the contractor’s bids. We are not there yet.

      However, common sense tells us that this is a ludicrous estimate–whoever came up with this?

      In the meantime, what are the alternatives for a CAT 5 shelter for the district?

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      • Anonymous says:

        The Compass article said: “Government has NOT stated how much it will cost to finish the development, but in 2016 that figure was estimated to be $5 million.”

        The $5million is a 2016 figure, i.e. 3 years ago. Not much has gone on since then as the pastor said they had no more funding to do anything much.

        That figure could be up to $8million by now, judging by how high prices in Cayman are…

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        • Anonymous says:

          1:15 pm — wrong. it was not estimated in 2016 at $5 million to complete the building. That figure was the estimate for the building, land, parking lot, etc., at the completion of the all works (including all prior works). So the source you got that from gave misleading information.

          one they did not source the information on the $5 million — stated in the passive voice. No subject — no so and so said.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can an accurate estimate of works to complete the church be possible—the government didn’t say so, the church is certainly not saying so, and the contractor not hired yet.

      Let us not rush to judgment before all the facts are in.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If it’s Who, will British passport holder be allowed to shelter there?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Should be the people. It’s our money they spent.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why is my tax money being used to fund more indoctrination stations? As if we don’t have 4 churches already on every square mile of this backwards island.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    I better be a shelter and NOT another church.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    What about the 911 emergency centre on Anton Bodden Rd in Bodden Town? What is happening with that?

  11. Anonymous says:

    The foundation of the church building is too low so the building is not fit for purpose. Does anyone know the name of the structural engineer that approved the church location to become a shelter?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    nonsense….

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  13. Big brother says:

    Why do we need architecture and design persona for a building which have already passed building code with the requisite drawings. This is crazy, it’s just a way of destroying public funds

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  14. Anonymous says:

    So the dock is more important than the safety of the fastest growing district in Cayman? Pffft. SMG.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Welcome back slush fund, we’ve missed you!

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Good job and thanks galore to MLA Suckoo and Minister Hew to restart these projects. Once these buildings have been upgraded to hurricane shelter standard the residents of Bodden Town will be able to breathe a sign of relief between June and November going forward. MAy God bless you two gentlemen, Pastor Rose and the congregstion of the Bodden Town Church of God immensely .

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Would it stand category 4-5?

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Keep fighting for us Mr Suckoo, your district appreciates the effort.

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