STATEMENT BY DEPUTY PREMIER AND
MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND WORKS HONOURABLE KYE M. RYMER AT THE SECOND SITTING OF THE FIFTH SESSION
OF THE FOURTH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
ON THE NEW ROAD TOWN MARKET SQUARE
Thursday 26th January 2023
Madam Speaker, on 12th October, 2020 the Government of the Virgin Islands broke ground at the New Market Square location in Road Town. Subsequent to the ground-breaking ceremony, we were able to successfully, temporarily relocate the vendors that operated at the market square location over to a temporary location adjacent to the Road Town Fire Station.
Madam Speaker, the Road Town Market Square is a historical site established in the 1970s and was the fourth (4th) official Market Day venue in the Territory. Therefore, this project is a signature project of the Government and is intended to foster entrepreneurship and economic growth.
Madam Speaker, I will take this opportunity to describe, in brief, the summary of works that have taken place to achieve the overall product before us today.
Works commenced with demolishing the previous Market Square building, and other adjacent structures. Water and electrical conduits were laid to service the kiosks and bandstand building.
The first building constructed on the site was the bandstand building, which will serve as a central gathering area for future events at the Market Square.
Sixteen (16) kiosks were constructed. Ten (10) kiosks are 12 by 12 feet in dimension, while six (6) kiosks are 10 by 10 feet.
The kiosks are outfitted with a sink and faucet, lighting, a duplex outlet and a countertop for vending purposes. Although not installed yet, each kiosk will have shutters to enclose the kiosks to protect against vandalism and provide adequate security.
All kiosks are equipped with a sink for sanitary purposes. They are also fitted with lighting and power supply to facilitate vendor operations, even during the night-time.
Solar lights are also installed to provide sufficient lighting to the square and reduce the overall electricity consumption charges.
Madam Speaker, the restroom building is fitted with a total of eight (8) stalls. Five (5) stalls on the female side, with one being handicap accessible. The male side has 3 stalls with one being handicap accessible and three (3) urinals. Also, each side (male and female) has a baby changing station and a concrete trough sink for handwashing.
Madam Speaker, special attention was given to ensure that the building is resilient and secure with concrete divider walls and shutters at the closure of the entrances.
The construction of concrete box drains and the trenching and laying of drain pipes have been completed. Careful attention was given to ensure that the Market Square has adequate drainage to ensure the area remains a viable site for business operation during heavy rain events.
Madam Speaker, you may have been inconvenienced by the works to install the drain crossing that is intended to discharge the storm water collected in the Market Square into the existing public drainage system. Additionally, we have altered the design to include a soft landscaping with grass, shrubs, and trees to allow for better drainage during inclement events.
The road and walkways are complete. The concrete road will serve as a service road to allow vendors to drop off and pick up supplies. The road will also service the adjoining buildings in the Market Square site. The concrete walkways serve as the central pathways for access to the kiosks, bandstand, restrooms and bus shelter by identifying a defined pathway for patrons to enjoy the overall ambience of the Market Square. The landscaping will complete the entire upgrade, with the installation of grass areas, palm trees and small shrubs.
The final building to be constructed is the bus shelter that will be the main hub for the collection of passengers. This will alleviate the dangerous practice of bus operators collecting passengers at the beginning of the Sir Walter Francis dual carriageway. The bus shelter is expected to be 36 feet in length and is estimated to accommodate over thirty persons to ensure that there is a safe sheltered area for passengers.
In preparation for opening the facility, we have offered, first rights of refusal to the original vendors of the old Market Square who were temporarily displaced during construction.
Madam Speaker, I take this opportunity to invite applicants to apply for one of the sixteen kiosks. We are currently offering the 10 by 10 Kiosks at a rate of $300.00 and the 12 by 12 Kiosks at a rate of $450.00 monthly.
In addition, Madam Speaker, as this Market square is in the Territory’s capital, it is important that the Virgin Islands be represented in whole, as a result we have dedicated a Kiosk specifically for our brothers and sisters from the outer islands to add to the creative product in our Territory’s Capital Market Square.
The kiosk will be available for persons coming from the sister islands, to be able to have a space and would be able to offer their produce or their product in the Market Square.
Madam Speaker, we consider this project to be substantially completed and ready for occupancy, so today, I want to announce to this Honourable House, that the opening of the facility is scheduled for 13th February, 2023.
The new facility will be initially managed and operated by the Wickham’s Cay Development Authority, however we will be inviting tenders for a Management contract to oversee the Road Town Market Square.
It is anticipated that the Market Square will not be considered as just a market only but as a general attraction for patrons to enjoy a leisurely time strolling through and patronising a diverse selection of vendors providing various goods and products.
Madam Speaker, applications can be collected from the Wickham’s Cay Development Office on Main Street. This historical Market Square redevelopment will enhance the town's overall appeal, aesthetics and general outlook to the benefit of residents and visitors alike.
Madam Speaker I thank you.