COST OVERRUN: The construction site of the National Oncology Centre at Mt Hope. Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

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Work on National Oncology Centre on schedule, says UDeCOTT

By By Camille Bethel camille.bethel@trinidadexpress.com

There are no visible signs that work is taking place at the construction site of the National Oncology Centre at Mt Hope, but project manager, the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd (UDeCOTT) says works are being done and the project remains on schedule.

In August, Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan gave his commitment to have the National Oncology Centre, which had been at a standstill since the sod was turned in 2007, completed in 18 months at a cost of $443 million.  

Responding last week to a list of questions on what appeared to be inactivity at the construction site of the medical facility Roxanne Stapleton-Whyms, media, events & community uutreach manager at UDeCOTT said in a statement to the Sunday Express: “There has been some redesign of the external site layout (roadway and parking lot) which were necessary to facilitate repair works on an existing services tunnel (underground) which contains medical gas and water lines which run across the site.

“There will be visible activity on site by the end of next week (November 22, 2013).”

She assured that the project was on schedule and that completion of construction was scheduled for April 2015. 

“This is followed by the commissioning of all medical equipment and systems, which is contractually due for completion in October 2015,” she said. 

Asked about the on-site structural condition survey of the location, she said it was completed on October 28 and lab tests were also carried out on the concrete cores, anchor bolts and steel reinforcements. 

“These test results have indicated that the existing foundation structures can be used with repairs to very minor defects. To further clarify, the Structural Condition Survey and repairs of any defects was scheduled to be done in two months and is a precursor to full scale construction and forms part of the Project Schedule.”

She pointed out that UDeCOTT took on the role of project manager in mid-2012 with planning and procurement. 

“The contractor mobilised on site in September 2013 and the contractual start date was October 1, 2013. Work on the National Oncology Centre was previously contracted by the Ministry of Health in 2007. UDeCOTT was not involved in the project at that time, when a large portion of the foundation and floor slab was constructed before work ceased in 2007.” 

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