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Site for Western Justice Complex yet

Thursday, July 11, 2019

FALMOUTH, Trelawny — Justice Minister Delroy Chuck says he is hopeful that construction on the long-awaited Western Justice Complex in St James will commence by the end of March next year.

“I am hoping that before the end of the year, we would not only agree on the site, but architectural services would have been completed, and I will be happy if we start construction before the end of this fiscal year. But definitely, we want to engage in construction sometime in 2020,” said the justice minister.

Chuck was responding to questions raised by the Jamaica Observer about the construction of the much-needed facility, which was promised two and a half years ago.

Early in 2017, Chuck disclosed that efforts were being made to secure lands in the Bogue area of St James for the construction of the complex aimed at improving the justice system in the parish.

Since the disclosure, two properties, including a National Water Commission property located on Lower Bevin Ave, Montego Bay, have been looked at.

According to Chuck, the delay in finding a suitable location has led to the re-routing of funds earmarked for the project.

“The truth of the matter is that this is a challenge that I have been experiencing for the last two years; trying to get an appropriate location for a complex that we want to build,” he stated, adding that “we had the money, and last year we spent it elsewhere.”

“We have the money again this year, which will probably be utilised more in professional services while we try to identify the location,” he added.

“It is proposed that the complex will be completed two years after the start of construction, however, the obstacle in moving forward with a site has to do now with ensuring soil conditions are favourable for construction,” said Chuck.

“We have identified two [sites]. We have to do a geological assessment. So, that is being done by the engineer and the geologist. You don't want to go and build on say [National] Water Commission land…, and then everything starts to sink. So, all of this takes some time to assess... before we start building.”

The Western Justice Complex will, among other things, house the St James Parish Court, which is currently located on Megre Bay Road in the town, the St James Circuit Court, and a division of the Gun Court.