BASSETERRE, St Kitts — Resort developer, Range Developments, and construction company, Kier Group, have commenced work on the Mansion sports pavilion in St Kitts that posed a safety risk for citizens and residents in that community following the passage of Hurricane Irma.
At the request of Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, the two companies are now helping to remove life threatening materials at the pavilion after several sheets of galvanized metal from the pavilion were sent flying across the Mansion playing field and into the yards of nearby homes as a result of the strong winds associated with Hurricane Irma on Wednesday morning.
Located on the east coast of St Kitts, the sports pavilion currently presents a danger to the community, which is now in major clear-up efforts and was also preparing itself for the approach of Jose. The complex was renovated back in 2009 at a cost of $1.3 million, and this recent natural disaster has meant that further renovation will now be needed.
Range Developments is currently working with the local government and alongside the Kier Group to minimize the risk to the public and to try and prevent any potential collateral damage.
Mohammed Asaria, vice chairman at Range Developments commented on the emergency work being carried out: “Our efforts at present, financial and human, are focused on assisting the government with the demolition and repair of the Mansion Sports Complex in St Kitts. There is some urgency in this regard given Jose’s potential impact.”
Health, safety and environment manager at Kier, Keisha Smith, said their aim is to ensure the overall safety of residents living in the immediate vicinity of the pavilion.
In outlining the scope of the work, Smith explained, “We’re going to use a man lift to take the guys up so we can start to cut off the loose material that is dangling, then after that we are going to cut off the rotted purlins. So basically, we are just trying to make this area safe. So in case the next hurricane arrives, we won’t have any material sailing or flying around.”
Harris expressed his gratitude to both the Kier Group and Range Developments for readily responding to the needs of the country.
He said, “Here it is you have the private citizens coming forward to render assistance to the country in getting it back on its feet again. It was a distinct pleasure to have met the leadership of both the Kier and the Range Developments to acknowledge their good corporate social responsibility.”
Harris said this example of good public-private sector partnership established by Range Developments and Kier can serve as a model for the corporate community in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Range Development and Kier are developing the 126-room Park Hyatt St Kitts Christophe Harbour luxury resort. That development accounted for the employment of some 800 persons during the construction phase and will see another 288 residents permanently employed when the hotel opens on November 1, 2017.
This isn’t the first time Range Developments has helped with disaster relief. In August 2015, the company sent over 100 tons of food and household goods to bring much-needed relief to the Island of Dominica after Tropical Storm Erika wiped out much of the island’s infrastructure.