For the last two years or so, a new and very large building have been taking shape on one of the last large vacant lots in the business district of George Town.
Here is what the land looked like before the project started (picture taken sometime in 2007)
Here is what it looks like today. Once completed sometime in 2011, this will be the largest building in the Cayman Islands with +-150,000 sq.ft of office space. It will serve as the main government building.
Once completed, the new government building will consolidate many of the ministries/departments into this single building on Elgin Ave. Right now, many of government agencies are scattered around town.
The cool thing I find about this building is that it will be LEED certified, which means it will meet certain environmental benchmarks. For one, it will use geothermal technology for the air conditioning system. I saw them doing the holes in the ground and they seemed to go very deep! Also, I believe that on the roof there is a rain catchment system which will then serve for the toilets and other such uses.
Of course, this building is built to resist the nastiest hurricanes. The walls are made of poured concrete and the windows are all hurricane resistant windows. Also, when they started to build it, they put a massive amount of fill so to make the building significantly higher than road level (see the 3rd picture, you can see the stairs/slope) During hurricane Ivan in 2004, this area of town had lots of water (so I am told …) and this building is probably 10ft above street level by my estimates.
In any case, it wont be put to use this year for hurricanes. Season ends in 2-weeks and nothing on the radar. Some disturbance near Columbia, but not forecasted to come to Cayman. Enjoy the long week-end everyone (everyone in Cayman that is) 🙂