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NIB Mall in Scarborough to be demolished
The 40 tenants of the National Insurance Board (NIB) Mall in Scarborough, Tobago, have been served with notices to quit the premises by April 30 to make way for demolition of the facility.
The quit notices were signed by NIB’s acting executive director Karen Gopaul. A circular which accompanied the notices stated that the NIB had been working since 2012 to improve the infrastructure of the mall and had commissioned its wholly-owned subsidiary, the National Insurance Property Development Company Limited (Nipdec) to engage a reputable civil/structural engineering firm to conduct a structural analysis of the mall.
In its report, the engineering firm CEP Limited said there were varying degrees of structural and non structural damage and non-conformity with several current building codes. In addition, beams and columns comprising the reinforced concrete moment resisting frame of the mall were overstressed and the design and detailing of the facility did not meet minimum requirements for life safety performance.
Gopaul told the tenants that CEP had confirmed in a letter dated February 20 that the structural integrity of the Mall was severely compromised and posed a serious life threatening hazard in the event of a major earthquake. She said the mall was unsafe for continued occupation and should be demolished.
Reacting to that development, Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Orville London said the welfare of the tenants and their customers should be paramount and that the NIB should manage the process with extreme sensitivity.
Top executives of the NIB met London a week ago during which he was told of their concerns about the structural integrity of the mall. He said during the meeting he had insisted that there be meaningful consultation betwee the NIB, tenants of the mall, other stakeholders and the THA at every stage of the process.
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