Still no plan for old NIS building

More than five years after the old National Insurance Scheme (NIS) building was deemed unsuitable, forcing workers to be relocated, Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman says Government is closer to making a decision on what should be done with it.

He told Barbados TODAY investigations were being carried out on the massive structure to determine how structurally sound it was, and he was expecting a report soon.

It was reported last year that the building was being sought after by the University of the West Indies (UWI) to be turned into a centre for technological entrepreneurship, while some businessmen were seeking to convert it into a mall.

Kellman said Government would have to negotiate with interested parties once the report was received. He did not give a timeframe.

“We were checking to see the stability of the infrastructure, and once that final report is there, we will know what we can do with it. But we have been having a lot of opinions and we have to investigate in order to ensure that when we deal with the matter that it is structurally sound,” he said.

After it was industrially cleaned several times, the building, which once housed the Land Tax Department, the Barbados Statistical Service, the Bureau of Gender Affairs, the Welfare Department, the Vector Control Unit, the Division of Labour and Community Development among other government departments, was determined to be unsuitable for use in 2012, when the then National Employment Bureau, now the Barbados Employment and Career Counselling Service, was moved to the Warrens Office Complex.

Since being abandoned the multi-storey building, which stands besides the Probyn Street fire station in Bridgetown, has become an eyesore.

15 Responses to Still no plan for old NIS building

  1. John Everatt August 30, 2017 at 1:21 am

    Hmm – 5 years to do a study on the structure? And it is still not complete? This is another example of government waste. I wonder how much that study cost the taxpayers.

    • hcalndre August 30, 2017 at 7:08 am

      The longer the study takes more money for some, all this structural assessment for a building that was closed only 5 years ago because of environmental problems but the Hyatt not too far away on the beach, the PM wants to just go ahead and have it erected without any building assessment. I have realized that the government buildings only last long as the party in power that builds them. Refurbish the thing into apartments and don`t forget the Empire Theater (Jackie Opel entertainment Center) that`s next to the Barbados National Bank.

    • andy g August 30, 2017 at 9:41 am

      pls try to understand what you read JOHN EVERATT. Five years ago it was deem unsuitable for use.Would you think the study started immediately after abandonment.OPEN YOUR EYES SIR

      • John Everatt August 30, 2017 at 1:22 pm

        Oh I see. So they did nothing for 5 years then just recently started a study. Well that’s a horse of a different color then. Thank you so much for setting the record straight.

  2. Mark Sandiford
    Mark Sandiford August 30, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Turn that into a 5 star downtown hotel for sailboat tourists and people who want the euphoria of staying it the nation’s capitol. No brainer. Upgrade Bridgetown nightlife and turn it back into a real destination spot.

  3. Tony Webster August 30, 2017 at 3:23 am

    Dig a hole in the ground…a big hole until you hit salt water…join this to the inner basin, and it cud take the over-flow of mega-yachts from the Pierhead Project. This would also facilitate dockside fishing, with a cold beer in hand, from the re-purposed / renovated “Empire Cinema Project”….which is also “coming along nicely”

  4. jrsmith August 30, 2017 at 4:46 am

    Keep watching this building, its a government building but, but , lets see what will happen to it……………………………………….

  5. Mark Sandiford
    Mark Sandiford August 30, 2017 at 5:18 am

    wish i had about $25m to handle this right now.

  6. Keera Harding
    Keera Harding August 30, 2017 at 7:11 am

    The old MOH buildings also stop building and repair

  7. Lee August 30, 2017 at 7:12 am

    “Lots of options to consider” – my foot ! Government would be lucky to get $5 million for it rather than continuing to bear its costs and the national embarassment of its failure.

  8. Kelvin Worrell
    Kelvin Worrell August 30, 2017 at 9:24 am

    It should be sold cause these so called leaders like them does only waste our money with new projects with certian individuals bein the beneficiaries, owen had the right idea bring in investors let them spend their money all now a .unt want to stop progress with one building some hidden agenda or something he got F I the landscape change so much that a day and a half of rain we see floods where are his suggestions and input pertaining to the roads and drains and the long term effects.

  9. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce August 30, 2017 at 9:26 am


  10. Adrian August 30, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I would like to know who was the architect, who constructed it who was resposible for its maintainance. Strikes me as odd that it’s un
    suitable for civil servants but can be reused for others to use?

  11. gsmiley August 30, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Mark Sandiford I think you mean 2 star. Plus what will you do with the scenery across the road?
    We will have to move all those vagrants who hang around the canteens sleeping on the benches and totally clean up that environment.

    That area is filthy. I for one wouldn’t pay to stay there.

  12. hcalndre August 30, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    The ministers, the contractors, the builders never seems to have any responsibilities after they finished these buildings whether they fall into a hole, crumble or float. The millions that is earmarked for these building and the over run cost is nowhere near the actual cost.


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