Refurbishing of Hopewell market enters second phase
The second phase of the estimated $20 million refurbishing of the meat, fruits and vegetable market in Hopewell, Hanover, is now on in earnest in the aftermath of Sunday’s demolition of the existing fruits and vegetable section of the market, to facilitate the construction exercise.
With the first phase of the rehabilitation, which included the roofing of the meats section of the facility, the construction of stalls, repairs to a section of the perimeter fencing along with some plumbing fixtures, now completed, The Gleaner has been informed that it cost approximately $8 million.
The scope of work for the second and final phase will involve putting in parking space for vehicles, the roofing on the section of the facility to be constructed, completion of the perimeter fencing, installation of bathroom facilities and additional plumbing and electrical works.
Devon Brown, councillor for the Hopewell division in the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), told The Gleaner that the work is being carried out by the HMC and should be covered by the $12 million balance from the original estimate for the two phases of the project.
“We want to finish the project for the Christmas. We do not want the new year to catch it, that’s why we have asked the vendors to relocate to the Hopewell Transport Centre, as they cannot be vending in the market area while the work is taking place on the facility,” said Brown.
The Hopewell Transport Centre, which has been out of use for an extended period, is approximately 70 metres away from where the market is located.
Brown further stated that the HMC has done some preliminary work at the transportation centre to facilitate the temporary accommodation of the market vendors, adding that the relevant department within the HMC will be monitoring the vending situation in Hopewell during the construction.
Brown underscored the importance of the market renovation project to the Hopewell area, saying that he is sorry that the work was not carried out earlier in the year so that the vendors would have more time before Christmas to utilise the facility.
“We (at the HMC) are working assiduously to ensure that come Christmas, the market will be opened and the Hopewell market space will look more appealing to the persons patronising the market,” said Brown..
The councillor made an appealed for the full cooperation of the vendors during the construction phase, saying it was important for the maintenance of order.
One vendor, who asked not to be identified publicly, told The Gleaner that the work on the facility is long overdue as both vendors and patrons have been surviving in sub-par conditions.
“They said within three weeks the place should be reopened, and we will work with them for the three weeks, but no longer,” she said.