The new Balisier House, costing between $12.5 million and $25 million, will be funded strictly by fund-raising efforts within People’s National Movement (PNM) constituencies.
One of the deputy political leaders yesterday pegged the cost for the new five-storey structure between $500 and $1,000 per square foot. The building is expected to be 25,000 square foot when completed.
Rohan Sinanan, the Works and Transport Minister, said that despite the negative comments and questions about where the party would get the money to start the work, the PNM had been raising funds for the past two years for this project.
“We have been having fund-raising activities, like boat cruises and other efforts, for the past two years for this project,” Sinanan said.
“I am confident that the membership will be able to completely fund this new building because of what Balisier House means to the people of the PNM,” he said.
“Fund-raising efforts will continue until the building is complete,” he said.
The sod was turned on the multi-million dollar PNM headquarters during a free cooler fete at the Balisier House compound on Thursday.
Both Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and party chairman, Energy Minister Franklin Khan turned the ceremonial sod, a layer of sand in a red box, to mark the start of the project.
One of the highlights of the fete was the first three-car give-away of a 10-car raffle, proceeds from which go toward the construction of the new building.
The structure, according to information provided at the event, is expected to be five storeys high and accommodate basement parking. The existing, historical Balisier House will be refurbished and kept as a museum and library dedicated to all things PNM.
The construction was given a two-year time frame for completion.
The ten car giveaway includes nine Honda City CNG vehicles and a grand prize of a BMW sedan.