By Nikolaos Prakas
The Environmental Information and Education Centre at Cavo Greco, which is set to be one of the first buildings in Cyprus, designed to take into account its environmental surroundings, is set to finish construction by mid May, the director of the forestry department, Takis Tsintides, said.
This comes after some initial complications in the completion of the structure due to differences in ideas between the first contractor and the department.
The first contracting company withdrew from the project and a new one was put in place, which has asked for an extension until May 15 to complete the project.
“Certainly the time period we have is tight but if the centre is not completed by the end of May then it will lose funding of up to €700,000, which has been allotted by the European agricultural fund for rural development,” said Tsintides.
He said his department was closely monitoring the project to ensure its completion in a timely manner, and said the contractor was also aware of the critical time restraints.
Complications aside, Tsintides said the ‘green’ building, when completed would contain a welcome centre and souvenir shop, exhibition rooms where visual and audio guides would explain the different ecosystems of the coastal area and the sea. They also plan three aquariums where the visitors can view the marine ecosystems up close.
The centre will also serve to educate the public on the threats to the ecosystems in the area and what can be done to help preservation efforts. It will have two educators, supplied by the Pedagogical Institute, who will lead classes and educate students from the surrounding areas of Larnaca and Famagusta.
The centre will also feature a cafe that will also operate after hours as a gathering place as the extra income would help with the upkeep.