The refurbishment works on the Government owned Bishop Canilla House are on schedule according to the Ministry for Housing.
The works commenced in January this year.
This block was originally completed in August 2000 but, since that time, there have been issues with water ingress. The Housing Department regularly received reports of water ingress and damp and therefore decided to refurbish before the building fell into further disrepair.
The Minister for Housing, Samantha Sacramento, announced that these works would be taking place in her 2017 budget speech.
The refurbishment works consist of an external refurbishment and complete reproofing, including the atrium, and the replacements of lifts. This will remedy the water ingress problem and will protect it from the elements in the future.
The external refurbishment will also vastly improve the environmental footprint of the building. Ms Sacramento and senior officials from the Ministry for Housing met with the Chair of the tenants’ committee earlier this year to discuss the project and the plans.
The replacement of lifts commenced last year. The existing passenger lift has recently been upgraded to a stretcher lift. This will greatly assist medical staff during any emergencies.
The refurbishment works will take just over a year and the works will be completed by February 2019. Senior management at the Housing Works Agency monitors the works closely so that the works cause as little disruption to tenants as possible.
Once the refurbishment is complete, the block will be upgraded to the same standard as the purpose-built accommodation for the elderly at Charles Bruzon House and Seamaster Lodge.
The works include the installation of external wall insulation system, the replacement of all roof coverings and glass atrium, improvements to the accessibility of the building to assist those with disabilities and mobility issues.
The replacement of all windows with double-glazing and roller blinds, the enclosure of all balconies with provision for tenants to install air conditioning units, the redecoration of all common areas, including the replacement of the floor tiles and the installation of a sun pergola at the rear patio area.
“Our elderly community are very important to us and we aim to restore and improve the quality of life of the residents of Bishop Canilla House by improving the environment in which they live to the highest standard. As with all refurbishment works, there may be some temporary inconvenience, but this will be short term and well worth it,” said Ms Sacramento.
“Housing officials on the ground are mindful of the tenants and their needs and are monitoring the works closely to ensure that the tight schedule of works is being met with the minimum disruption to tenants. Inevitably, the works will have to straddle a summer when use of balconies will be restricted, given that part of the works have to be done in the good weather months. The remediation and refurbishment cannot be done without disruption”.
“Not only will these works address the longstanding water ingress issues since the first tenants moved in, but the refurbishment will include the much-awaited replacement of existing vertical sash windows with the more user-friendly double glazed horizontal sliding windows with roller blinds. The improvements also show a commitment to continuous upkeep and regular maintenance in order that the building does not once again fall into a state of disrepair,” she added.