Three months ago, rehabilitation works commenced at the Supreme Court building in downtown Belize City. The works are part of a much larger infrastructural revitalization mission to rejuvenate the Belize City House of Culture and the heart of the Old Capital. The court’s rehabilitation works included roof repairs, ceiling and electrical works—totaling a cost of a little less than sixty-one thousand dollars. Hipolito Novelo reports.
Hipolito Novelo, Reporting
After a fire destroyed the original courthouse decades ago, what you see standing on Regent Street, downtown Belize City, is its replacement. Facing west, the two storey structure built in classic British colonial style- is where the rule of law is upheld and justice is served. But time has been less than kind to the Supreme Court building. Its infrastructural integrity weakens with time and neglect, but that’s changing. The Supreme Court building does not only represent justice but an important part of Belize’s history. Through the Downtown Rejuvenation Project, almost sixty-one thousand dollars were earmarked for the rehabilitation of the structure. Registrar General for the Supreme Court, Trienia Young explained how the funds were used.
Trienia Young, Registrar General, Supreme Court
“The roof was badly leaking and as such funds were made available by both the Taiwanese and as well the Attorney General’s Ministry and the Ministry of Finance to fix the roof that was leaking as well as the ceilings for two courtrooms and two judges’ chambers. The clock that is part of the historical aspect is supposed to be refurbished, however, there is a problem with the location of parts because the clock is a very old clock and as such we are trying to facilitate it. As soon as that has been located then we are hoping that it would be fixed. As well there is a plan to repaint the entire building in time of the reopening of the Supreme Court next year, 2019.”
The Downtown Rejuvenation Project is funded by the Government of Belize and the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF). It is being executed by the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation through the Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project.
“This is a historical building and as such, we need to maintain this because of the fact that this is part of our history.”
Tracy Taegar-Panton, Minister of State responsible for Investment, Trade and
“This Supreme Court building means a lot to many people, justice being one but a big part of our history. So we need to preserve what we have so we can share the stories with our young ones and to keep what is uniquely Belize intact.”
Yashin Dujon, C.E.O., Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation
“One of the projects under our ministry is the Downtown Revitalization Project which focuses on the restoration of old colonial and patrimonial buildings within downtown Belize City within which the Supreme Court building falls. So it is important that an icon like this is preserved for future generations and historical purposes.”