MLA says ‘Hilton’ funds could have been better spent

| 04/08/2011

(CNS): The First Elected Member for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman believes that the money being spent on the emergency shelter on Cayman Brac’s Bluff would have been better invested in a new high school for the island. MLA Moses Kirkconnell told CNS that the site of 'Hurricane Hilton', as it has been dubbed, would have the ideal location for a new high school campus as it is located right next to the Bluff football field and that the current campus in Stake Bay could have been turned into a vocational school or a hotel training school, which could have attracted students from Grand Cayman. “I believe that money could have been spent more wisely,”said Kirkconnell. 

"There should have been a high school on the Bluff that could have doubled as a shelter. I believe that the young people of Cayman Brac deserve a new high school and where the shelter is being built would have been the perfect place for it because the playing field is right next to it. Given the success that the students of the Brac high school have had, it would really have been the gem of the Cayman Islands.”

Island Builders was awarded the contract to build the foundation for the main hall of the emergency shelter and the cistern for $285,000, the lowest of the five bids submitted to the Central Tenders Committee (CTC). Dean Scott, the owner of the company, told CNS that it was decided by the Ministry of District Administration to let smaller firms work on each phase of the project rather than a large firm working on all phases. Work on the first phase started shortly after the opening ceremony in May.

“Basically, the shelter will be of benefit of all Caymanians,” said Scott. “I am proud to be a Cayman Bracker working on this project and it is something that I’m pretty sure everybody will be proud of.”

Hurricane Hilton is located on Major Donald Drive and will cover 36,111 square feet when completed. According to the plans, in phase 1 (the main building) the first storey will include the main hall, plus a sick bay, reception area, kitchen and several bathrooms. The second floor will include the command centre, office and conference room. Phase 2 consists of four 2-storey “wings” to the building, each wing with 10 private rooms on each floor, each room with a semi-private bathroom (one for every two rooms).

Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor Connolly has previously told CNS that the rooms will have individual temperature control because, she said, during Hurricane Paloma some people were too hot and some were too cold and there was no privacy for the elderly or disabled.

The main hall will accommodate up to 400 people in a storm and each wing will house an additional 100 adults, so the new building adds another 800 shelter spaces to Cayman Brac. When there is an emergency, the private rooms will be allocated on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis, though the deputy premier has said that if a major hurricane was approaching they could allocate one wing for hospital patients.

This new emergency shelter will be the fourth on the island. The Aston Rutty Civic Centre on the Bluff can hold approximately 500 people, while the West End Primary School, which has been structurally upgraded since Paloma, can hold 250, and the Brac Day Care Centre, located next to the civic centre, can hold 155.

The District Administration Building, while not an official emergency centre, also shelters DA staff and their families, and the rebuilt Veteran’s and Seaman’s Center is an unofficial shelter. In addition, many new homes are being built on the Bluff, where people remain during a storm, and two new churches on the Bluff that were built to hurricane standards have been recently completed.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It been a long time coming but change is gonna come!

  2. Anon says:

    LOL! Well, it nah no turn tamarinds left on dat tree a wha? I could swear I saw some the other day, went and fling one rock up in deh and lick down one parrot by mistake. Boy, I in trouble now! But come to think of it, I gah keep him cuz he might soon be able to tell me who's been stealing the cassava out my ground!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just think of the sacrifices Juju had to make in funding to accomplish this project. I bet she had to stay in the Cayman Islands for a whole month for government to have the money to build the hurricane hilton.

    That must be awful for her to not be traveling in 5 star comfort.

    • Anonymous says:

      And just think of all the work she'll have to split the building and consulting contracts on this waste of our money amongst as MANY of her potential voters as possible!! 

  4. Anonymous says:

    The name for the new building is……………….

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank You Mr. Kirkconnell, glad you are willing to speak up while there is still time to turn it into something that could really benefit us.  Is there anyway to get Miss Julie to stop wasting our money on this Hurricane Hilton idea????.  Make it a High School.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do our politicians tolerate incompetence and let it progress to the brink of disaster and often slightly beyond. Paid representatives need to be a little more forthright and responsive in their opposition and should get in the act from the proposal stage, not months and months later.

  6. East of the Tamarind Tree says:

    To West of the Tamarind Tree 19:25


    Let me just say something to you, if you hate Spot Bayers and Watering Placers, may i  suggest to you stay west of the tamarind tree. Why you wont tell the Caymanian people that the people west of that same tamarind tree are color prejudice and that is why we brackers always catching hell bout black people. I betcha you made plenty trips to watering place for Blackies hamburgers or Spot Bay for Miss Merell turtle meat.


    Since you cant find anything to do, go help NRA finish pave every yard in Cayman Brac. Thats is what is wrong with unny old prejudice pointas now, everything unny want for unny self. While i agree with Mr Kirkconnell, he has done nothing for Cayman Brac as far as i am concerned and yes i am a PPM supported but at least Julie help the fishermen and other areas of Cayman Brac. I am surprise unny made her pave the shop yards west of the tamraind tree cuz afterall, the tar is BLACK!

    Thats my 2 cents 2 you and may you have a blessed hurrricane season west of the tamarind!


    1 Proud Spot Baya who live in GCM 

    • Anonymous says:

      Proof that it should be a school!

    • Anonymous says:


      Your ignorance is bliss.

      For someone who claims people "west of the tamarind tree" is prejudice, you really are the topping of  the cake! Your whole comment in in general a prejudice statement.

      And for the record, the shops "west of the tamarind tree" only started getting paved for free after julie did the church and other venues "east of the tamarind tree" for FREE.

      I'm sure you've made your plenty trips, to the supermarkets, popo jebs and other venues "west of the tamarind tree". So since you have nothing to do, go chop down the tree you been sitting in and actual see where you are situated.


      ohhh and here's your word of the day:

      HYPOCRITE:- a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.

      Be safe during Hurricane Season 🙂 *bbmhug*


    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting to see someone come right out and play the race card. It's usually just innuendo about expats rich people and colonialists.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Who said that the plans cannot be changed even if the "Foundation" is done?? Make it a High School/Shelter now.. Better for The Brac all around!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    The money would have been better not spent on anything other than reducing the country's debt – same as the travel budget for McKeewa and Ju-Ju.

  9. Nonnie Mouse says:

    What a cowardly time to speak up.  Anyone with integrity would have spoken up at the time of the announcement when something could have been done.  What is the point of expressing this type of view now other than showing that he had a complete lack of spine at the time when it was first proposed?

    • Anonymous says:

      Better late than never. This man has his plan together and he will ensure the right things happens. Some times, small minded people can’t see the big picture and as they say, “timing is everything.”

      Mr. Kirkconnell will get the project done properly instead of Julie and her usual ability to leave everything incomplete.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wholeheartedly agree. The complete lack of any timely vocal opposition, from MLAs paid to represent the people, is staggering and not limited to this. We are left to assume that the silence on both benches is because everyone has their dirty hands in the cookie jars. Time for any politicians with spine and principles to stand up and be counted.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is great… another project the UDP can't finish.  Mr. Kirkconnell finishes all of his projects.
    With that said, I'm glad Mr. Kirkconnell has set the stage for what is to come.

    Thank you Mr. Kirkconnell because we all know that you are a man who gets things done!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations, Mr. Kirkonnell is finally starting to understand what the general public has been trying to pound into the government's incredibly thick heads WAY before ground was broken for this project. It's a little late now but thanks anyway, Mr. Kirkonnell.

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely it is not too late to stop this if only the foundation has been done. It can be modified and still turned into a school.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Excuse me????   Cayman Brac, an anchor, yes, that is the way it is spelt.   We built our OWN hospital and Brackers control and run all of Grand Cayman just about.   The name Tibbetts and Kirkconnell are names you all would want around your necks for ever.   The money that that man Linton Tibbetts has poured into these islands have just been ignored.   You all had better get down on your knees and thank the Lord for his blessings of giving Cayman Brac and the time and talents that they have given back to everyone!!!


    • Anonymous says:

      And what have you done?


    • Anonymous says:

      you cannot be serious…..cayman brac is a welfare state and is economic blackhole for the cayman islands!

      • Anonymous says:

        And who has been the MLA from 1996? The same person who has no idea how to move the island forward.

      • Coconut Candy says:

        A economic blackhole? Are you kidding??!!!! Obviously, you didn't have your Milo today 🙂 but, seriously, when I read some of the comments and listen to remarks passed by some immature and ignorant persons over the years that I've been living here, I really have to stop and think before I say I'm proud to be a Caymanian. What is wrong with you people? If I had to pay attention to the humiliating things that were said and done to me in Cayman, especially on my job of 25 years with Government, I would've packed up and returned to the Brac a long time ago. But, you know what? We are all ONE even though there are miles between us and I am here to work and make a life for me and my family just like all of the other folks that chose to relocate to Grand Cayman so get over it, we're not going anywhere. And to you Brackers that are b*tching and whining at each other about who's black or white or who did or did not get their yards paved etc, just pause for a minute, step back and really look at how stupid you appear to the small minority of idiots in Grand Cayman that jump to the first opportunity to say, "See? I told you dem Brackers nah gah no sense!". Lets all try to live better and stop hating on our own people. If you're a church-goer, go to church, sing, dance, pray and love one another. If you're a good-timer, go to Edd's Place or the other hang outs on the island, drink a beer, some good white rum and dance to some good old country music! Be proud and be happy but, overall, act sensibly. Peace.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Moses its such a pity that you wait until after the first phase contract has been awarded to come forward to voice your opinion. I feel it is safe to say that most of Cayman Brac if not all were NOT in support of this Hilton Hotel and it would have been nice if in the initial stages you had said that you did not support it either and to have put forward your suggestion of a high school at that time. The Brac – I do believe still does not support this extravagant and wasteful buiding.

    • Anonymous says:

      You may remember that 5 or 6 years ago Mr. Kirkconnell said that he wanted to see the playfield on the bluff completed and in time the high school relocated there. Also then Minister of Education comitted that when the schools in Grand Cayman were completed he would seek to relocate the high school to the bluff site.

    • Anonymous says:

      Moses announced disagreement a long time ago, I heard him on Rooster many months ago stating his position that this money should be spent on a new high school instead.  He has been consistent in his position on this.

  14. Anono says:

    Hold on one minute… You know, you can tell when people are getting ready to start running for elections again on this island.


    While I agree with  MLA Moses Kirkconnell, I am some what appalled that it would take him this long to verbally and openly object to it… He is blowing hot steam now because… well, its too god damn late to say anything about it. 

    Everyone else, expect the right people to challenge it said anything, now you want to come and be the "I told you so" guy.  

    Moses Please go back and sit down and make your salary the way you normally do.. in the back being quiet.


    Sick of these so called politicians


  15. B.B.L. Brown says:

    I agree with the First Elected Member for Cayman Brac.  The money would have better spent building a new high school…… strong enough to be used as a hurricane shelter.  What we have now is a LOT of money tied up in a building that will be used very little.  I suppose it could be used as a hotel for some higher-ups and their friends but a new school would do so much more for our youth,,,, and they are the future of Cayman Brac.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Ummh, yeah, 25 years after the fact and the concerns appear.  Does he somehow think we're idiots?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Such a total waste of money. Oconnor- Conolly and her gang need to retire. Why not do something that really would improve CaymanBrac.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Wish Mr. Kirkconnell was in charge, he has much better judgment!  Seems it's not too late, with only the foundation so far can't it still be designed as a school instead of another hurricane shelter which we don't need?

  19. CSI says:

    So let me get this straight- if the information in the article is correct, I count 1705 available spots in official hurricane shelters, and many others in unofficial shelters.  And don't forget those highly touted caves.  I don't know the Brac's official population, but I think that 1705+ accounts for every man, woman, child, and hamster on the island.  It's also not clear to me what the shelter will be used for the other 364 days of the year.  Anybody know the figures for Grand Cayman – how many spots are available, and what percentage of the population it represents? 

    And by the way, has McNamedropper decided who he's going to name it after? 

  20. kate says:

    I don't know.  Money should be spent on hurricanes like it is spent on schools. So I am not going to criticize about this one. When PPM was in they spent alot of money of that school project in Frank Sound. So a hurricane is just as serious and costly too.

    • Anon says:

      Yes and the school hall will double as a shelter for the Eastern districts so it is fully utilised all year round. Now do you see the difference?

    • Anonymous says:

      You seem to be missing a couple of points: (1) the issue of need. There is no evidence that another hurricane shelter was needed on the Brac. The need for the schools has been acknowledged since 2002 when the UDP was previously in power; (2) the PPM was and is bitterly criticised by the UDP for building schools at great cost saying that it was reckless in the face of a recession. Well we are actually now in the middle of the recession and cannot balance our books with the UK breathing down our necks. The UDP is doing what it accused the PPM of doing.    

    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM had the good sense to double the purpose of the school to include a hurricane shelter. Ju Ju and the rest of the UDP despises the PPM way too much to follow suit. Whether or not it makes sense is completely besides the point..

  21. Anonymous says:

    cayman brac….like an achor around the neck of the cayman islands…….

  22. Anonymous says:

    It should have been a school, built to hurricane shelter standards, that could double up as a shelter when needed.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Waste Waste waste!!! enjoy it while you can Julie, you won't be back!

    • West Of The Tamarind Tree says:

      What makes you gthink shes not gonna be back? Watering Placers and Spot Bayers are just like West Bayers!!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Please don't think for 1 second that Spot Bayers are like Water Placers

        • Anonymous says:

          I think we should send all the West Bayers to live in the Brac with the Spot Bayers and the Watering Placers soJu Ju and Mac can have the time of their lives governing them all. Seems we would do well to send all the churches over there too so Mack can continue to 'build the nation'.  Mac could sell soldier crabs for bait to sustain the economy (don't laugh, I've definitely heard some worse ideas). 

          • Anonymous says:

            Cayman Brac got too many churches now.  As long as JuJu and Mac stays Watering Place and doesn't come West End, Stake Bay or South Side, I'm all for it.  I don't think Spot Bayers care as much for them anymore though.  You got to remember Watering Placers are her family so they will never vote different.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Of course after the fact……a lot of good that does now.  No one listened to the peoples voices on this long ago before the project started and he is just figuring this all out now????  He must be related to juJudas and macbooboo for real.  Theres a saying that goes…."lights are on  but nobody home"  very applicable to our so called leaders.


    • Anonymous says:

      Could be far worst. We could have had a MLA that is a convicted criminal who also had no ideas….

  25. Anonymous says:

    I always prefer to state such concerns and observations AFTER the project has begun. That way it has already started and I can state my concerns with 20/20 hindsight.