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Recommendation made for 'Cultural Centre' to be torn down- Dr Wheatley

- Education & Culture Minister envisions performing arts center, national library & museum to be constructed
The Sir Rupert Briercliffe was damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017 and has not been used since. Photo: VINO
Many persons on social media are in support of the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall, left, being torn down and rebuilt to promote the arts and facilitate other events that now have to be held at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex, right. Photo: VINO
Many persons on social media are in support of the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall, left, being torn down and rebuilt to promote the arts and facilitate other events that now have to be held at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex, right. Photo: VINO
Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr The Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) wrote on the REAL BVI Community on August 21, 2019 that it has been recommended that the cultural center be torn down. Photo: Facebook
Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr The Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) wrote on the REAL BVI Community on August 21, 2019 that it has been recommended that the cultural center be torn down. Photo: Facebook
The discussion on the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall was raised on August 20, 2019 by a Russell Jones, who was of the view it is time for the ‘Cultural Center’ to be knocked down and replaced with a Liberal Arts Complex. Photo: Facebook
The discussion on the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall was raised on August 20, 2019 by a Russell Jones, who was of the view it is time for the ‘Cultural Center’ to be knocked down and replaced with a Liberal Arts Complex. Photo: Facebook
Inside the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall during the BVI Festival of Arts in 2013. Photo: VINO/File
Inside the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall during the BVI Festival of Arts in 2013. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- A recommendation has been made for the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall, which has remained in a state of disrepair since the hurricanes of September 2017, to be torn down, according to Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr The Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7).

According to the Minister, he envisions a performing arts center, national library and museum to be constructed in the area once the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall, or ‘Cultural Centre’ as referred to by many, is demolished.

“It has been recommended that the cultural center be torn down. I have publicly and privately expressed my desire for a performing arts center along with a national library and museum in that entire area,” Dr Wheatley wrote on the REAL BVI Community on August 21, 2019 after the discussion was raised on August 20, 2019 by a Russell Jones, who was of the view the it was time for the “Cultural Center” to be knocked down and “erect a proper Liberal Arts Complex.”

‘I expect progress shortly’- Dr Wheatley

Many persons were in support of the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall being torn down and rebuilt to promote the arts and facilitate other events that now have to be held at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex.

“After traveling to Trinidad and experiencing their cultural institutions, I am even more enthused to see this become a reality. In June I made a presentation to a group of individuals who access funding for worthy projects. They liked the idea. I expect progress shortly,” Dr Wheatley, who was at the time accompanying a Virgin Islands delegation to CARIFESTA XIV in Trinidad and Tobago, wrote.

Meanwhile, Mr Jones was of the strong view that instead of “forcing” the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex to be more than it was intended, that the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall be demolished along with nearby buildings to create parking.

“We tried the fix up and revamp and it didn't work so let's bite the bullet and do it right. Knock down those set of useless old buildings around the center, fix the ditch and create a proper parking facility with 2 layers. Back in the days of Mr Evans the Cultural Center was perfect for shows and large events, proper stage lighting, sound system and most importantly acoustics. Back stage had proper dressing rooms with direct stage access. Access doors for large props. Only thing missing was air conditioning and proper security. Minister Natalio D Wheatley you said you have a vision of an Arts Center in the BVI, well there is my little 2 cents or $5 with inflation,” Mr Jones stated.

Another person commented that the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex cannot continue to be a concert and graduation hall at the “sacrifice of our athletes who have long waited for a location to practice and be introduced to the many areas of sports.”

No 'official' decision yet

Dr Wheatley; however, told Virgin Islands News Online today, August 23, 2019, no decision has been made as yet regarding what will done about the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall.

"No official decision has been made in regard to the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall as yet, but it will be dealt with in the not so distant future," Hon Wheatley said.

6 Responses to “Recommendation made for 'Cultural Centre' to be torn down- Dr Wheatley”

  • Jaigon (23/08/2019, 11:33) Like (23) Dislike (2) Reply
    I totally agree to the demolition of that building. Government had spent millions trying to remedy the flooding problem with that building. I will recommend that once the building is demolish, the area be back filled and then the new building built on pile.
  • ... (23/08/2019, 12:08) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    I agree get it down!!!
  • wize up (23/08/2019, 15:56) Like (2) Dislike (8) Reply
    parking lot
  • jack (23/08/2019, 16:14) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    I totally agree, but PLEASE FIX THE HIGH SCHOOL FIRST, as a matter of priority. The High School must be re-built before a new cultural center is built.
  • LIBRARIAN (23/08/2019, 17:53) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    we are in dire need of a real decent public library. Please bill the public library on the corner next to the traffic lights
  • wize up (24/08/2019, 07:16) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    hurricane shelter


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