Councillor Víctor Valverde, the Orihuela Councillor for Emergencies, has said that after years of delay, the tender for the construction of the La Zenia Emergency Centre will finally be issued this month.
He told the press last week “Finally the Generalitat has delegated the Orihuela government the works of execution for the building and now the tender for the works will be published in August.”
Work first got under way nine years ago in September, 2010, when history was made and the future set, with the laying of the foundation stone for the new Emergency Coordination Centre for the Orihuela Costa.
The pomp and ceremony of the day was marked by the burying of a ”time capsule”, containing a copy of the Leader Newspaper local newspapers, a selection of coins, a CD and certificate detailing the project signed by the two main dignitaries of the day, the Mayoress of Orihuela, Monica Lorente, and the Interior Minister of the Valencian Community, Serafín Castellano. Unfortunately, almost ten years later, only a skeletal form of the project exists, a beacon that many people believe of the neglect of the Orihuela Costa.
However, given the tardiness and lack of action by the Consell, Orihuela has proposed a take-over of its construction, thus alleviating the procedures to meet the deadlines. They intend to amortize the aid of the Productive Investment Support Plan (PIP), which was granted to the city under Zapatero’s mandate, and make the Orihuela Costa emergency centre a reality.
The new centre was included in the PIP plan in 2010. The initial budget for the building was more than two million euros and construction began that same year.
But the works were paralysed in 2012, after the construction company declared itself in bankruptcy proceedings, leaving the concrete skeleton in the middle of a plot, adjacent to the N332 in La Zenia.
Since then, the Oriolan government and it’s opposition have relentlessly requested the Consell to resume the works in order to complete the facilities, given that this project was originated, funded and awarded to the city of Orihuela by the Valencian government.
Recently, however, due to the time elapsed since the stoppage of the works it has been necessary to make a series of modifications to adapt the project to current regulations.
In December 2017, the City Council presented a new project for this construction of the emergency centre, but the remodelling of the project caused a shortfall in the allocated budget.
The initial plan was that the building would have three floors, although that has now been reduced to two. The third floor would be pending future expansion, which would be borne by the municipal budget should it becomes necessary in the future.
There have been many reasons for the delays that have occurred, time and time again: the bankruptcy of the winning bidder, the necessary modifications to the project, changes in new Contract Law, the processing of the new budget and all of the procedures necessary when dealing with paralysed works and these would seem to be the reasons why the Consell has once again decided to put back the completion date for the works to December 2020, the seventh occasion that the construction deadline has been extended.
With this new deadline, and with the new project accepted, Valverde, confirmed the Orihuela government can now get on with the work. “This is excellent news for Orihuela, which now has 16 months to complete the project,” he said.
“The location of the facilities is ideal to serve the entire coast because it is located in the centre of the south coast, next to the N332 and AP7 motorway. The building will have excellent access to meet any emergency and will be built by the end of next year.”
“For the time being we are going to locate the municipal services in the building such as the Local Police, Samur, Civil Protection, Civil Guard and the Immigration Office. We also want to establish a base there during the summer for the Forest Guard, Beach Lifeguard, etc. They will all have their own space in the building. Right now the Local Police has 60 square metres, whereas in the new building they will have 400 square metres” said the councillor.
The emergency centre will have a helipad, a vehicle garage and a green area. The building will have three floors, one of them unused, built around a central courtyard in order to obtain optimum light and natural ventilation.
The basement will comprise 1,900 square metres, in which there will be parking for 50 cars and 15 motorcycles. There will also be cells for the detainees, a gym and other recreational areas for the security forces and the other staff that are located in the building
The ground floor will have 1,500 square metres which will have offices for each of the bodies as well as an armoury and changing rooms. Finally, the first floor will have a capacity of 1,200 square metres, but will only be used for future expansion of the facilities.