The construction of the Capitol Building Annexes that was expected to last for 22 months, is progressing according to an arrangement to be completed in April 2018, Sidney Devine, Public Works project engineer said yesterday at the end of a tour of the construction site.
The construction began in October 2016 with two completion dates of April 30, 2018 and July 31, 2018 as set out in the bilateral agreement.
The project is being funded through the People’s Republic of China (PRC) at the cost of US$23M.
The completion of the annexes will alleviate the shortage of office space for members of the National Legislature and their staff.
At the end of yesterday’s tour, Devine told the Daily Observer that the construction is going on as planned. “The Liberian government is fulfilling its side of the negotiation by providing electricity, water, and sites for accommodation among others,” he said.
“There are no hindrances and as you can see the main buildings are erected with only dress-up of the buildings, the landscaping, electricity, plumbing, septic tanks, drains and minor works remaining.”
The annexes are currently under the construction of Jiangsu Construction Company while another Chinese company, the China International Engineering Design and Consult Company Limited, is supervising the engineering component. The two annexes will connect the two sides of the existing main building.
The Senate building may hold about 181 office workers, while the annex building of the House of Representatives may hold about 211 office workers. The annexes will also include separate chambers as well as a generator house. The Senate building area is about 3,528 square meters and the House’s is about 3,443 square meters. The two annexes are 7,300 in square meters in total, including equipment room.
The present Capitol Building was dedicated in 1956 under the leadership of Vice President William R. Tolbert, Senate Pro Tempore Edwin Morgan, leaders of the Senate, and Speaker of the House, Richard Henries.
Besides the Capitol Building annexes, China has also provided US$60 million for the long-awaited Ministerial Complex in Congotown, Monrovia which, when completed, will be the second-largest building the Chinese government has so far constructed in Africa.
China has also provided funding for other projects in Liberia including the Ministry of Health, the Jackson Fiah Doe Memorial Hospital in Tappita, Lower Nimba County, and the Monrovia Vocational Training Center, among others.
On July 4, 2016, representatives of the Republic of China and the Ministry of Public Works on behalf of the Liberian Government and others signed an implementation agreement for the China aided project to construct the two annexes.
On December 8, 2016, the Chinese contractors and engineers began constructing a mini-powerhouse to host two KVA generators that will be used by the Chinese for the work.
Though there are restrictions to access some areas that are identified as construction sites, the work of the project will in no way affect the regular workings of the National Legislature.
Under the agreement, the Government of Liberia will be fully responsible for maintenance, management and operation after the project is completed.
The agreement further said that both parties shall resolve matters that are not mentioned and that any change or amendment to the agreement shall be resolved in the spirit of friendliness and mutual accommodation.