Government may have to start from scratch on the construction of a headquarters for PanTrinbago, despite spending approximately $4 million on the existing structure at Orange Grove, Tacarigua. Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Lincoln Douglas said, in an interview yesterday, that over $40 million was estimated to have the headquarters completed. "We met last week with Udecott (Urban Development Corporation of T&T), who is the project manager, and PanTrinbago and we are currently in the process of creating new designs for the organisation," Douglas said.
Douglas said new designs might include training classes, a pan museum and money-making facilities."We are also evaluating the current structure to see if it is workable or if we need to start fresh."The structure is 11 years old and shows signs of neglect and vandalism."The property has been vandalised and degraded to a great extent. We have to decide whether to continue using that structure or to start a new one."Douglas said the venue was also under question in terms of access and its proximity to the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway.
He said he expected dialogue to be completed this month but did not have an estimated date for the commencement of construction."We are pushing for this as soon as possible and we are trying to figure out what is the best we can get for the money we need to spend."Responding to questions by e-mail, Roxanne Stapleton-Whyms, media, events and community outreach manager at Udecott, said a decision was to be finalised by the PanTrinbago board."PanTrinbago is looking to maximise usage of the site, with a view to earning revenue, so they can become self-sufficient and hence be able to fund the needs of the steelpan fraternity for Carnival and other PanTrinbago-organised events, independent of government funding," said Stapleton-Whyms.
She also listed the facilities to be made available at the pan headquarters, which included a pan chroming unit, a steel pan factory and a gas station.PanTrinbago president Keith Diaz confirmed that the organisation was currently engaged in discussions with Udecott and the ministry.