Construction to turn the heritage-protected Old Courthouse in Nam Van into the city’s new central library, a project estimated to cost about 900 million patacas not including the “detailed design” costs, is due to start in 2019, Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) President Guilherme Ung Vai Meng said on Tuesday.
Ung made the comments during a press conference at the bureau to reveal more details of the project which has sparked ample criticism due to its huge budget and doubts whether the Old Courthouse is a suitable site for the city’s new central library.
Ung said the decision to turn the Old Courthouse, which was built in 1951, into a central library was made in 2003 by the government, adding that the bureau began planning the project in 2007.
According to Ung, the planning of the project started in 2008 with design contest, which was later terminated. He did not elaborate.
When the plan was relaunched in 2010, it encountered “many” issues such as building restrictions and the setting-up of a refuge floor, according to a statement released by the bureau.
A new plan was proposed by the bureau to the Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) in 2014, Ung said adding that a “detailed design” would now be done which the bureau would outsource by the end of the year, so that construction could start in 2019.
However, Ung admitted he was unable to say how long the construction would take and when the new central would open to the public.(Macau News / The Macau Post Daily)