By Evie Andreou
The new Nicosia town hall is expected to be completed before the August holiday, municipality officials said on Thursday.
Construction of the new building near the old municipal market square within the old part of the town has been going on for years with delays mainly linked with the discovery of antiquities at the construction site.
But 21 years after architectural office Irwin Kritioti won the project and after around 12 re-designs, due to the presence of antiquities, the new town hall is finally near completion.
“Our goal, and bet, is for construction to be completed before the summer holidays, in August,” Nicos Hadjinicolaou, deputy municipal secretary, told the Cyprus Mail.
After completion of the construction and the necessary paperwork and procedures for the handover of the building by the contractor, municipal services will be able to move in.
Construction works were halted for a number of years as soon as they began after antiquities were discovered, for archaeological excavations. The building was redesigned so as to co-exist with the archaeological site. The findings mainly range from the Byzantine to the Ottoman periods and are centred on what is believed to be a crusader palace, but items dating to the later Bronze Age have also been found.
There were some minor disputes concerning demands of the contractor adding to the delays, Hadjinicolaou said and for which decisions had to be taken by the central committee for variations and claims.
The existing town hall building cannot accommodate all of its services, some of which are housed elsewhere.
The temporary housing however of the municipality’s technical services in a library raised criticism recently, urging the local authority to announce that this did not obstruct the operations of the library.
The municipality said on Thursday it had to temporarily transfer its technical services at Achillios Municipal Library, and the cultural centre ‘Myloi Kaimakliou’ after the building they were housed in until last November “presented problems”.
This arrangement, the municipality said, “is temporary until the transfer of all the municipality’s services to the new town hall”. The library, the municipality said, continues to operate as such.