Sam Lord’s on the rise
Within the next three months, structures should be visible on the site as construction continues on the multimillion dollar Sam Lord’s Castle Wyndham Grand Resort.
Giving an update on the work, Stuart Layne, chief executive officer of the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTII), told the Sunday Sun that the project was on track for the projected 2019 completion date.
“We have virtually finished all the excavations for the foundation for the hotel,” he said. “We are very advanced in the actual work of the foundation. We would have found some anomalies which had to be dealt with, so that slowed us down a little bit, but we continue to be on target for a November/ December completion in 2019.
“We have spent as much time as we needed in the subsurface. We have invested as much effort and energy as we needed in the foundation and now in short order in another three months or so you would see structures going up,” Layne said.
According to him, about 1 000 people would be employed when the hotel opened, and the BTII was busy making sure that Barbados had the talent pool for the hotel.
“We are quite happy with everything as its stands right now,” he said.
When a Sunday Sun team visited the St Philip site last week, several workmen with heavy duty equipment were busy preparing the foundation.
An official at the site, who did not want to be identified, explained that a lot of excavation had to be done.
“We had to pour concrete and prep the surface for the structures. We have water tanks in the ground – everything is coming from the ground. We had to do a lot of excavating, so we had so many different contractors out here cutting. We had [C.O.] Williams, we had Black Bess and we had Infra cutting out massive foundation. So that is almost concluded. We have finished our basement slabs and the footing and now we are coming up to the ground floor,” he pointed out, adding that several professionals, including engineers and surveyors, were also on site.
Only last Sunday at the Barbados Labour Party’s first mass political meeting for 2018 at Worthing, Christ Church, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley raised questions about the progress of work at the site.
Displaying photographs, which she said were taken last week, Mottley told the gathering: “Three ground-breakings, two years, and all you can find at Sam Lord’s is some dormitories for the Chinese and foundation for two buildings. Do you understand that after two years you have to ask why Sam Lord’s, where the money is, and who benefited?” she asked.
Construction on the five-star resort started in June 2016 with demolition of the old hotel.
The Wyndham Grand is being funded by a US$240 million loan from the People’s Republic of China and will add 450 rooms to the island’s hotel stock. (MB)