The Office of Disaster Recovery has announced the obligation of $1,837,783 to the Virgin Islands Department of Health (DOH) for the demolition of the old mental health building and interior renovations to the department’s clinical buildings on St. Thomas.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (VITEMA’s) Public Assistance Program has awarded these funds to execute the demolition of the abandoned two-story building that once housed the mental health division for the Department of Health. Eliminating the steel structure will pave the way for a new 50,000-square-foot parking lot and sidewalk development designed to meet Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
Health’s Commissioner Justa E. Encarnacion applauds the collaboration between her staff, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Office of Disaster Recovery. “Following a lengthy and complex process, FEMA has now granted the refurbishment of the interior of the buildings in the existing envelope and the development of a parking lot solving a long-standing issue at our St. Thomas location.”
The solicitation for the demolition of the old mental health building is currently under development. Once a contractor is selected and the contract is executed, work can begin.
“The Office of Disaster Recovery continues to utilize all of its resources to support the efforts of the Department of Health,” said Director Adrienne L. Williams-Octalien. “The department currently has nine other projects under FEMA review, six of which are hinged to the restoration of the department’s clinical operations on St. Thomas.”
This obligation also lays the groundwork for an economical and convenient location to house the department’s clinical services while repairs are made to eleven historic buildings at John S. Moorehead Municipal Hospital.
Construction of the parking lot should be complete by Nov. 2022.