August 13 2018
Basseterre, St. Kitts, 2018 Staff at the St. Christopher National Trust has been charged with protecting, preserving, promoting, and conserving national treasures in St. Kitts and restoring the Old Treasury Building – the home of the National Museum.
In a recent appearance on national radio, Executive Director of the St. Christopher National Trust, Ryllis Percival, spoke to a number of important projects being undertaken, where she highlighted the restoration of three sites across St. Kitts and Nevis; they being— the Old Treasury Building in Basseterre; the Spooner’s Cotton Ginnery in Cayon; and the Charles Fort in Sandy Point.
Speaking to the importance of the invest in the upkeep of the Treasury, Percival stated that the building was originally constructed in 1894. Adding that Many in the day and the decades that followed referred to it as “The Gateway to Basseterre” as the archway facilitated the entry and exit of persons coming to St. Kitts via boat.
Percival further expressed “It is one of the oldest buildings in St. Kitts, especially in Basseterre as such renovation has to be delicately performed over a period of years and as one would expect, is very costly. A remodelling exercise in the early 2000s only compounded the problem as the wrong materials were used and have resulted in flaking on the walls and leaks.
As a result, experts on these buildings had to be consulted.
Percival shared the department’s joy in finding the experts in Trinidad, adding that the staff of the trust has been working with both the engineer from Trinidad and a building heritage restoration and maintenance company to guide the trust in the process of how they can get this building restored properly, and it is a lot of work.”
The estimated cost to fix the structure is about US$1 million or close to EC$3 million.
To assist, the local government has stepped forward to support the project.
The Trust is now in a position to invite tenders from qualified contractors to carry out the rehabilitation project.