Accommodation project for Gozitan students, patients’ families three years overdue

A prominent building in Birkirkara meant to have opened its doors in 2019 for 33 Gozitan students and relatives of patients recovering in Malta is already four years late, and there is still no fixed date for its inauguration.

At the beginning of 2019, then-Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana announced the ministry, through an agreement with the Franciscan community, had taken over the administration of Villa Lauri in central Birkirkara and that it would be turned into a temporary shelter.

Giving details of the €1 million project, the minister said the 33-bed facility would be able to host Gozitan students and relatives of Gozitan patients recovering in Malta in temporary accommodation by that year’s end.

The project is, however, still under construction for four years, and various extensions to the opening date, later.

While works are proceeding at a snail’s pace, the €1 million budget allocated for the project has been surpassed considerably. The final price is expected to be more than double the original estimate.

Works are being carried out under the direction of architect Frank Muscat, who was given a raft of direct orders when Caruana was minister.

When asked in Parliament for a project update, current Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri insisted the temporary accommodation project was still part of the ministry’s plans and that Villa Lauri has been identified. But the minister shot down questions on how much has been spent so far and the four-year delay.

The Gozo Ministry has a trail of project targets missed and budgets ignored.

The Shift has already reported how a new Gozo residence for the elderly has been left abandoned for almost a decade while a new Olympic size pool at the Sports Centre in Victoria is two years late and running at twice its projected budget.

The same goes for other projects, including a new hospital promised for Gozo, which is now embroiled in the Steward Health Care saga, as well as a new primary school in Victoria that is two years late with no opening date in sight.


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joey falzon
joey falzon
1 month ago

the architect in charge is synonymous with DELAYS and OVER SPENDING

Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

All talk and bluff and as usual no results just direct orders and overspending galore.

John C.
John C.
1 month ago

Look like there isn’t enough commission for the usual trio

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