Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has announced that the Magistrate’s Court located at John’s Hole will be moving to rented facilities shortly.
Speaking at a recent press briefing with the media, the Premier noted that the move is to accommodate the Eslyn Henly Richiez Learning Centre.
“As it pertains to Eslyn Henley, the project is ready to go, and they have just been waiting on the Magistrate’s Court to move from the location where they are. As you know, Eslyn Henley and the Magistrate’s Court essentially swapped places,” the Premier said.
“So, where the Magistrate’s Court is [located] is where Eslyn Henley Richiez Centre will go but the Magistrate’s Court is essentially moving to rented facilities. The paperwork has been signed for that already. So, as they switch from where they are…, we will have a ground-breaking for [the new Eslyn Henley Richiez centre] shortly,” Dr Wheatley said.
Meanwhile, in the 2022 Standing Finance Committee (SFC) Report, the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Deputy Governor’s Office Sharleen Dabreo-Lettsome indicated that the Magistrate’s Court needed to be moved from its current location in John’s Hole.
Dabreo-Lettsome said the cost of the move would be $108,000 for rent and $60,000 for outfitting.
The design phase of the Magistrate’s Court was expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2021 and construction was projected to be completed in 2022.
The Halls of Justice Project is being funded under the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Loan (RRL) from the Caribbean Development Bank, which the government secured to assist with the recovery of the territory after Hurricane Irma. The Virgin Islands
government and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are also helping with the funds.
The government is also inviting bids for the contract to construct the new Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre.
The proposed work includes but is not limited to the demolition of the existing structure, site clearance and construction of a new school building.
In a recent release, the government said the project is being funded through the $65 million hurricane rehabilitation and reconstruction loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).