The West Point Townhall Construction Project held its first board meeting Friday, April 4, at the new Evelyn’s Restaurant in Sinkor.
Representatives of the township of West Point in the persons of the Commissioner, elders and governors of the various ethnic groups, the European Union, architects and patrons of the project were in attendance.
After welcome remarks by West Point Commissioner, H. Miatta Flowers, and an overview of the project by Mr. Kenneth Y. Best, whose brain child the project is, a corp of officers was elected as follows:
Mr. Charles A. Minor, Interim Board Chair
Mr. Amos Sie-Snowie, Kru Governor of West Point, Vice Chair
The European Union, Treasurer
Ms. Nelly S. Cooper, representing the women of West Point, Vice Treasurer
Ms. Lindiwé N. Khumalo, Board Secretary
Mr. Isaac T. Roberts, Chaplain of the board
Mr. Kenneth Y. Best, Sr. and West Point Commissioner H. Miatta Flowers, Patrons
Lead project architect, Mr. Adolphus McCritty, gave the board an overview of the design of the building, allaying fears that based on the beach front location designated for the town hall, the building might be undermined by sea erosion. McCritty explained that the structure has been designed like that of a bridge to withstand water the force of a tsunami. The building, he said, will have a finished floor 18 feet above sea level as well as four via ducts for water to pass through.
Partnering with Mr. McCritty as an architect on the town hall construction project, Mr. F. Augustus Caesar explained to the board that in order to circumvent land ownership issues, the elders of West Point had designated two acres of land for the people’s use. No transfer of ownership is being requested or required. A declaration prepared by a lawyer will be signed by the elders of West Point, attested to by Commissioner Flowers and submitted to the Ministry of Public Works.
While the building itself would not require the demolition of houses, some West Point home owners may have to make sacrifices to make way for an access road to the site, Caesar said.
Construction is scheduled to begin after soil tests have been completed. The project has been estimated at US$1.5 million. The actual size of the building, the architects explained, will be dependent upon the amount of funds raised.
Two financial institutions, the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment and Afriland First Bank, have been designated by the board, and signatories authorized.
Supporters and friends of the project wanting to give to the project may deposit funds of any amount into the project’s escrow account currently set up at LBDI. An online portal will, in short order, be set up for overseas-based supporters wishing to make donations to the construction of a town hall for the township of West Point.
All supporters making donations of any amount to this cause will have their names engraved on the wall of the building upon completion.
The West Point Townhall Project was launched on Saturday, October 27, marking the 75th birth anniversary of Kenneth Y. Best, publisher and managing director of the Daily Observer newspaper.
Mr. Best said he wished no celebration for himself but, with the assistance of family, friends and well wishers, to reach out to the people of West Point, from where the Observer got its first front page story at its launching on February 16, 1981. The story was headlined, “West Point Dwellers Are Angry”.
The board expresses its thanks to all who have already contributed to the project and calls upon all well-meaning Liberians, especially those whose peoples constitute the township of West Point, to give charitably to this most worthy cause.