Expansion of Hope Estate Community Helpdesk soon  complete

From left are: Ing. Joseph Dollison, Gerard "Rudy" Harrigan of Main Road Construction, Minister Emile Lee and Keith Franca of SMDF


PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The expansion of the Hope Estate community helpdesk is anticipated to be completed by February 5. The expansion will accommodate the Women’s Desk services. The community help desk services are part of the government services of the Ministry of VSA. Project funding was made available by the Dutch Government to the amount of ANG. 253,000.00.The project calls for an extension to the building of 54 square meters with a concrete roof and 46 square meters of a covered concrete open recreation area with expansion possibilities on the ground and first floor. In addition, fencing, air conditioning and lighting are included in the works.

The funding for the expansion project was requested by the Ministry of VSA. The execution was assigned by BZK and the Dutch representation office in Philipsburg to the St. Maarten Development Fund (“SMDF”). SMDF coordinated the tendering procedure in which Main Road Construction was the successful contractor. Works commenced November 26, directly after the building permit was quickly expedited by the Ministry of VROMI. On behalf of SMDF, Ing. Joseph Dollison oversees the execution of the contractor and conducts quality assurance inspections. The design for the expansion was provided by Alfonso Reiph a member of the SMDF technical team. Due to the construction holidays in December, concrete deliveries ceased from mid-December to January 7, delaying the completion of the project.

Minister Lee stated that “the Ministry of VSA is thankful to the Dutch Government for providing the funding and delighted to work with the St. Maarten Development Fund in bringing the project in a true partnership to fruition along the wishes of VSA to better service the surrounding communities of Hope Estate, Guana Bay, Suckergarden and the Keys”.

The community helpdesks’ main objective is to bring government and NGO’s services to residents within their own community in a low threshold manner. These services range from counseling, social empowerment program such as workshops, chat groups, lectures and dissemination of information.