Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, Gabriel Malzaire anticipates that renovation works on the Roseau Cathedral will be completed by June 2018.
Speaking at a press conference aimed at updating the public on ongoing works at the cathedral on Thursday July 14,2016 Bishop Malzaire said the project is moving into stage five which is the covering and construction of the roof.
“It is important to note that what was initially intended to be the replacement of the roof turned out to be a much bigger project,” he said.
“Midway through the planning process it was advisable to do what we call a seismic test of the foundation. We realized that the foundation was not as wholesome as was needed to support a heavy roof,” the Bishop indicated.
He added that the foundation had to be retrofitted, followed by the placement of a steel frame and now the next stage is placing of the roof.
“We have been waiting for the material for the roof for practically a year. We are awaiting the material from America and at a certain point we had to re-measure since it is a very complex roof. We had to do precise measurement which was responsible for the delay that we have at the moment.”
Bishop Malzaire informed that the material is expected to arrive in Dominica within a months’ time and work will continue.
“What the engineers are saying to me is that the placement of the roof will take at least three months. We hope that we can place the roof during this time”.
Additionally, the Bishop informed that following the roof placement, the next step will be construction of a new flooring, then the additions of windows and doors, the choir loft and the bell tower.
“It is quite a bit of work that needs to be done in the finishing stages and according to my mind I wouldn’t want the project to go beyond mid-2018,” he stated.
Bishop Malzaire said it has been a long journey so far and he would have loved to have the Cathedral completed by 2017, however said this would have been a tall order.
“Mid-2018 I am hoping that we will have a full fledge Cathedral and I am looking forward to reopen, recommission it and consecrate it and everybody will be able to come,” Bishop Malzaire said.
The Roseau Cathedral, which is 159 years old, represents historical, cultural and religious significance for the people of Dominica.