The old Phil’s Food Services building. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE GOVERNMENT has gone back to the drawing board on plans to relocate the General Post Office, according to Transport Minister Renward Wells.
The plan had been to move the General Post Office to the old Phil’s food store building on Gladstone Road but Mr Wells said cabinet has discovered it would cost more to renovate the building than it had budgeted.
“The government had identified a building that we were going to renovate to move the General Post Office from to that site but what ended up happening is what we realized that the amount of renovations that is needed is beyond what we had budgeted for,” he said. “We anticipated it was going to be about $4m to renovate the building. Obviously it is a whole lot more than that and the Ministry of Works is now going through the whole design process as to how we get that done so we’re looking over the next week or two to being able to come back with a subsequent stop gap measure. We’re looking at something else that we may be able to do in regards to the post office so we can get the post office fully functioning while we look at the finished site as to where the post office is going to be.”
He said: “It’s an ongoing concern because the existing General Post Office there are issues with the building that the government has sought to correct. We have staff working there half-day now. We’re looking at perhaps maybe getting two shifts. We understand the situation with the post office that the mail is backed up but we’ve had a lot of infrastructural issues at the post office at Cable Beach we needed to repair the roof you know it was closed down for about three or four weeks while we repaired the roof it is now back up and open so we are looking at how we can arrest the problem.”
Over the years, the General Post Office has been plagued by mould and air-conditioning problems.
For many months workers there have worked shortened shifts at their East Hill Street location because of the “hazardous” conditions.
Last year former Bahamas Chamber of Commerce CEO Edison Sumner said the shortened work hours were a “pretty vexing issue” for a number of businesses.