Repairs to Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home underway

A workman uses the jackhammer on one of the columns in need of structural repair at the Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home. The work is estimated to be completed in four weeks, weather permitting. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

Work crews, this week, began structural repairs on the Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home. The project is scheduled to take four weeks to complete, weather permitting.

The Scope of Works calls for repairs to be completed to cracks beneath the stairway, the repair of cracks on balconies where those cracks may exist, to repair cracks on columns and in the corridor areas where they may exist, to paint all steel relative to repairs, to complete all masonry work in the corridors, and to paint the corridor and stairway areas.

The work crews have been working closely with Administrators at the Home to ensure the safety of residents and staff during the repairs. Residents have been relocated to safe distances away from the work. Administrators have ensured that the physical distancing protocols employed at the Home during the COVID-19 Pandemic, are adhered to.

Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, said the repairs are in line with the Ministry’s efforts to improve the living conditions of the children at the Homes that fall under its remit, in addition to working conditions for staff across the Ministry.

Minister Campbell said while the Government of The Bahamas’ response in the aftermath of the monster hurricane, Dorian, in 2019, and the presence of the COVID-19 Pandemic this year have expanded the roles of the Ministry and its various Departments and Divisions, and in the process, stretched both its human and financial resources, the regular work of the Ministry “must go on.”

“The wheels were in motion for so many things to happen prior to Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 Pandemic. As a matter of fact, COVID-19 and Hurricane Dorian may have resulted in some delays, but we are intent on bringing these matters to fruition,” Minister Campbell said.

“Our buildings still need to be maintained and repaired because we have persons residing and working in them and there are standards that have to be maintained. We have a duty of care to the residents who are there, to the persons who visit them, to the Administrators and staff who work in them, to ensure that there is an environment that is conducive for them and so yes, we are going to adhere to the additional demands, but we are also going to continue to do those things that we were always doing,” Minister Campbell added.

Ms. Beryl Gray, an Administrator at the Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home, applauded the work of the crews thus far.

“We would have had the opportunity to meet with the Project Contractor prior to the launch of the work in reference to expectations in terms of ensuring the safety of the residents and staff,” Ms. Gray said.

“I must say that I have been impressed in terms of their professionalism, in the way they have conducted themselves, in addition to time on task – not a moment lost. I am quite impressed in terms of the way forward. It seems as if they are on the right track. The safety measures they have employed and the precautions they have undertaken thus far have aided the situation. It is my belief that he was a good pick and I look forward to witnessing the finished work.”

Ms. Gray said the repairs should bring about benefits for residents, administrators and employees.

“In totality you are looking at building self-esteem and morale among the residents and the staff. I think it will also create greater buy-in for the residents and staff who, knowing that the repairs will make the accommodations as comfortable for them as possible,” Ms. Gray added.

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