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Tuesday, June 28, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesGOV’T HOUSE BARRICADE TO REMAIN

GOV’T HOUSE BARRICADE TO REMAIN

The removal of the construction barricade around Government House in Christiansted will have to wait, despite Senate President Vargrave Richard’s call to have it taken down.
On Tuesday, Richards encouraged construction contractors and administration officials to remove the plywood fence that has surrounded Government House for two years during its renovation. Richards and downtown business owners want the obstacle removed now that the tourist season has started.
But on Wednesday, Neil Watson, special projects coordinator for Government House, said the barricade will stay at least until Christmas.
A stretch of the barricade runs along King Street where brick laying in the gutter area is in progress, Watson said. And while the contractors and the governor’s office realize the inconvenience the fence may cause to downtown merchants, it’s there as a matter of law.
"The barricade is up not just to protect the work crews, but also the public," he said.
"It can’t be (removed) right away. We’ll make every effort to get the barricade removed as soon as possible."
That, however, won’t happen until sometime around Christmas, Watson said, adding that it depends on what unforeseen problems arise. The renovation was originally scheduled to be completed by March 1999, but Hurricane Georges in September 1998 and other setbacks have slowed the project. In mid-August, workers discovered lead paint on interior walls, which took about a month to remove.
"It’s a 250-year-old building," he said. "You’re finding things all the time."
When work is completed, the renovated Government House will be home to the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor and the island administrator.
Meanwhile, another downtown project Watson is coordinating is set to begin in early December. Construction on the extension of the Christiansted boardwalk is scheduled to start around Dec. 8 with the first piles being driven, he said.
The existing boardwalk will be extended from where it ends in King’s Alley 1,450 feet west toward the Holger Danske Hotel. The project will cost approximately $1.7 million and be funded by the Federal Highway Administration. The contractor, R&R Caribbean, has already been issued a notice to proceed.

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The removal of the construction barricade around Government House in Christiansted will have to wait, despite Senate President Vargrave Richard’s call to have it taken down.
On Tuesday, Richards encouraged construction contractors and administration officials to remove the plywood fence that has surrounded Government House for two years during its renovation. Richards and downtown business owners want the obstacle removed now that the tourist season has started.
But on Wednesday, Neil Watson, special projects coordinator for Government House, said the barricade will stay at least until Christmas.
A stretch of the barricade runs along King Street where brick laying in the gutter area is in progress, Watson said. And while the contractors and the governor’s office realize the inconvenience the fence may cause to downtown merchants, it’s there as a matter of law.
"The barricade is up not just to protect the work crews, but also the public," he said.
"It can’t be (removed) right away. We’ll make every effort to get the barricade removed as soon as possible."
That, however, won’t happen until sometime around Christmas, Watson said, adding that it depends on what unforeseen problems arise. The renovation was originally scheduled to be completed by March 1999, but Hurricane Georges in September 1998 and other setbacks have slowed the project. In mid-August, workers discovered lead paint on interior walls, which took about a month to remove.
"It’s a 250-year-old building," he said. "You’re finding things all the time."
When work is completed, the renovated Government House will be home to the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor and the island administrator.
Meanwhile, another downtown project Watson is coordinating is set to begin in early December. Construction on the extension of the Christiansted boardwalk is scheduled to start around Dec. 8 with the first piles being driven, he said.
The existing boardwalk will be extended from where it ends in King’s Alley 1,450 feet west toward the Holger Danske Hotel. The project will cost approximately $1.7 million and be funded by the Federal Highway Administration. The contractor, R&R Caribbean, has already been issued a notice to proceed.