MCRU facility will finish this year, say developers

| 03/07/2012

Cessna-in-mangrove-1-700x466.jpg(CNS): Despite the dependence on government finding the money, when the premier eventually delivers a budget for this financial year, the new developers of the Mosquito Research Control Unit's multi-purpose facility say it should be finished before the end of 2012. Edgewater Development took over the project last May after the original contractors, Hadsphaltic, went into liquidation in June 2009. The new MRCU’s aircraft facility includes a 12,402 square foot hangar, a 2,787 square foot custom-built pesticide store, a 1,600 square foot evaporation basin and car park facility. Regardless of government’s present financial difficulties, the minister responisble said the project is delivered as promised.

Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, the deputy premier, said that despite the many struggles, she was pleased that the MRCU was getting the much-needed upgrade, which would bring significant improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of mosquito control operations on the islands.

“The new facility will considerably improve the MRCU's ability to protect residents from nuisance biting and from mosquito-borne disease and bring the unit in compliance with the Cayman Islands Civil Aviation. It will also assist in keeping government assets safe during a hurricane," she said.

When it’s finished the hangar, which is being built to hurricane safety standards, will be large enough to house both aircrafts. To reduce the risk of flooding, the building is elevated several feet compared to the previous hangar. It has a built-in fire suppression system using foam retardant. The building includes a workshop for aircraft maintenance, and a secure restricted-access store for aircraft parts. The MRCU facility has a generator, which means that operations can continue after a natural disaster.

The custom-built pesticide store is also built to hurricane standards to protect stock. The store is large enough to hold sufficient quantities of supplies and to store them in a safe and efficient manner. MRUC Director Dr William Petrie and ministry experts took the environment into account as well, so the aircraft loading bay incorporates a washing/flushing area, which prevents contamination of groundwater by pesticide residues and detergent wash-off.

“The wash-off water is directed to an evaporation pan – a holding tank that allows ultra violet radiation from the sun to break down pesticide residues and evaporation of harmless constituents," Dr Petrie explained. He said lessons learned from Hurricane Ivan were taken into account when the new hanger was designed.

“Mosquito control services are a vital provision of government operations in the aftermath of a storm, as experienced after Hurricane Ivan when MRCU was able to commence operations within three days of the storm. The hurricane protection measures incorporated into the new facility will protect aircraft, pesticides and equipment, and will go a long way to ensuring we can launch a response in the immediate aftermath of a storm," he added.

Kris Bergstrom, one of the owners of Edgewater Development, said it was a complex project which faced both difficulties with the original contractor and the challenges of budget constraints. He said Edgewater had provided “a flexible, budget-driven schedule” for the project and the main structural shell was already completed.

“We are hopeful that the new budget allows us to complete this project later in 2012," Bergstrom said, although no budget has yet been delivered.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    yep…soon come…zzzzzzzz

  2. CHECHE says:

    Well, I'm glad this may be happening! Cost of OFF gone up ya na!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I understand one of the reasons this has taken so long was lengthy arguments between the various parties involved along the lines of 'who wants what and why'.

    The original plans for the facility were apparently drawn up in 2006 but it then took over two years to get any sort of consensus on the final design and location. I think I'm right in saying that one option at the time was a joint MRCU/RCIPS hanger shared by the spray planes and the helicopter to keep costs down but that was dropped.

    Anyone know what it is all going to cost? 

  4. Anonymous says:

    cig is a joke …they have being trying to build a a big shed for 4 years and it's still  not finished!