The former Hamilton police station’s Parliament Street location makes it a potential revenue raiser. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
The former Hamilton police station’s Parliament Street location makes it a potential revenue raiser. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28: The former Hamilton police station is being looked at for redevelopment into an office block.

The station — disused for more than a year — is just one of the Government-owned properties being looked at as potential revenue raisers.

Government Estates and Information Services Minister Michael Scott said: “There is a commercial group looking at developing the old police station as an office block.

“It’s a prime piece of real estate and it could be either redeveloped or cleared for a new building. “

Mr Scott said his ministry was responsible for around 800 Government buildings, ranging from major city centre office blocks to homes — some of them disused.

He added: “During the Budget town hall meetings, I’ve been including in my presentations how we can deploy residential assets like homes.

“I’ve been talking about selling off residential assets like homes and other buildings which are surplus to Government requirements.”

Mr Scott said a man had already contacted his staff to make enquiries about a Government-owned house which is currently disused.

He added: “It’s a nice residence sitting there and it would be his first home. That’s an example of the kind of thing we can be doing.”

Managing Government estates is just part of the remit of the ministry, set up under a reorganization after Paula Cox became Premier in 2010.

Mr Scott, backed by Permanent Secretary Robert Horton, is also in charge of maintenance of public buildings, with a workforce of 140 tradespeople based at a depot in Prospect.

The buildings include some of the most historic and prominent in Bermuda — like the House of Assembly and Supreme Court building and Cabinet Office.

The Ministry is also responsible for the seabed around Bermuda, a cluster of publicly owned islands, electronic access to Government services and the island’s near-complete archives.

Mr Scott said: “A very important part of this ministry is to provide apprenticeship and training opportunities — the Prospect depot is a valuable training resource for apprentices who train alongside very experienced tradesmen and women.

“Our properties can be used for job creation and community renewal — things to help people during these trying and testing times in the economy. We can do that in this ministry.”

Mr Scott added the CISCO Academy, which will provide internationally-recognised IT training at a special unit in the Bermuda College, would be up and running by the summer after backing from the ministry.

He said: “The CISCO Academy will prepare our young people for deployment into what could be called a CISCO house of banking or investment house. Many of them use CISCO for IT support and they will pay top dollar for a qualified networking individual.”

Mr Scott added he had visited an office, which uses CISCO systems and had been impressed by the powerful technology it harnessed.

He said: “Being involved in that kind of power that CISCO technology offers is very attractive to those with an interest in IT.

“The company I spoke to was very enthusiastic about the CISCO project and offered their support for the academy.”