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Thread: $80 MILLION to correct mistakes at the National Academy...

  1. #1
    Gladiator
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    Arrow $80 MILLION to correct mistakes at the National Academy...

    IT COULD TAKE as much as $80 million to correct flaws in the design of the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port-of-Spain, the interim President of the Artists Coalition of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) Rubadiri Victor, estimated yesterday...


    Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday : newsday.co.tt :



    NAPA tragedy

    By Andre Bagoo Sunday, March 14 2010
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    IT COULD TAKE as much as $80 million to correct flaws in the design of the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port-of-Spain, the interim President of the Artists Coalition of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) Rubadiri Victor, estimated yesterday.

    While Prime Minister Patrick Manning last week praised the NAPA as being “world class,” Victor yesterday begged to differ, saying the facility is plagued with technical problems and argued that it does not compare in any form with Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.

    Discussing a dossier on the NAPA prepared by the ACTT which has been circulating on the internet this month, Victor, a multi-media artist, said, “$80 million is a realistic estimate of the costs that would be involved to correct the defects.”

    “It appears as though the firm which built and designed the facility (Shanghai Construction Group) may not have been experienced in building facilities of this kind,” he said.

    The ACTT in their dossier, entitled, “The Tragedy and Hidden History of the NAPA”, the coalition of artists also estimate that maintenance of the building like the NAPA, which has an estimated budget of about $500 million, can approach as much as ten per cent of building cost. Architects, though, noted that maintenance costs are difficult to estimate due to the variables involved, such as the quality of original materials used.

    Among the defects noted in the ACTT dossier are:

    There is no loading area for the main stage;

    The stage is “ill-matched” to the 1,500 seating capacity of the hall;

    The orchestra pit is defective;

    The light and sound boards are analogue and not digital (the industry standard for the last decade);

    There are “hundreds of problems with lighting and sound fixtures and equipment” The stage floor is “ribbed and is not a sprung floor so is ill-suited for dancing and thus will damage dancers”.

    Dance studios are flawed;

    There are “no costume rooms, no set construction rooms and no warehousing rooms”;

    One architect not involved in the ACTT report, who has been inside the NAPA yesterday confirmed the flaws identified in the report and added, “the floors are laminated and they have begun to chip already. Because of materials used, there are also creases on the stage, which will be a challenge for dancer.”

    “A loading area’s dimensions are normally about 16 feet x 10 feet- NAPA has a normal door! This means that sets, costumes of a certain size, certain musical instruments (hint- one of them is our national one) cannot fit through NAPA’s doors to get backstage!” the report, compiled from a site visit and other sources, notes.

    “The two rooms that have been trumpeted as the two smaller theatres are in fact just two rooms. Flat rooms with no seats. It would cost tens of millions of dollars to convert these rooms into theatres.”

    “All the light and sound boards are analogue not digital. They are also mid-standard and not high-end,” the report continues. “Most of the fixtures are completely wrong: There are literally hundreds of problems with lighting and sound fixtures and equipment. Some may sound small to laypeople but they mean everything to the technicians entrusted to make sure shows go on.”

    “For instance: the bars that the hundreds of light fixtures are on are square and not round. This means that lights can only be pointed in four directions (two of them up to the roof!) and not in gradated choice as on a round bar.”

    Tellingly, signage for technical parts of the building is in Chinese, an indication that the design—heavily trumped as being inspired by the Chaconia flower—may not have been original to Trinidad and Tobago.

    Additionally, “There are no dressing rooms within reach of the backstage, and no clothing racks, showers and a host of other amenities in the dressing rooms that do exist. This probably can be rectified but it will cost.”

    “There are no monitors for backstage and for the stage manager. This probably too can be rectified — but it will cost.”

    “The stage-floor is ribbed and is not a sprung floor so is ill-suited for dancing and thus will damage dancers. Theatrical floors are ‘rigged’ so that dancers can dance on then — they have a bounce to absorb and cushion dancers — otherwise it’s like you are dancing on concrete.”

    “The dance studios are completely unsuited for dance. The dance-rooms have concrete and terrazzo floors; have dance bars too high; and have mirrors on both walls creating a circus infinite-mirror effect. This means there are effectively no dance studio spaces in NAPA. New properly constructed dance floors will have to be built, one mirrored wall will have to come down and all the dance bars taken down and re-hung.

    To add to the litany of complaints, “there are no costume rooms, no set construction rooms and no warehousing rooms.”

    Members of the ACTT include Fabien Alphonso, president of the Recording Industry Association of Trinidad and Tobago (RIATT) and Andre Reyes, president of the Artist Teachers Association.

    “I don’t know how it could be that the firm that got the contract has a competency in building a performing arts centre,” Victor, who appeared before the Uff Commission of Inquiry into Udecott, the state corporation that built the facility, said. “This is a tragedy of an immense proportion.”

    President of the Joint Consultative Council of the local construction industry Winston Riley yesterday noted that aside from functional problems, there have been concerns about the construction materials used for the project.

    “There are serious concerns about it as an academy,” he noted, “but we have been concerned about the use of mild steel in the building which we believe would put the building under risk.”

    The NAPA was reportedly built pursuant to a Government to Government agreement between Trinidad and Tobago and China, at an estimated budget of about $500 million. There was no competitive tender for the project which was handed to the Shanghai Construction Group, the same company that built the Prime Minister’s Residence and Diplomatic Centre. Efforts to contact SCG were unsuccessful.

    When Manning, who had come under fire for his constant defence of Udecott in the face of compelling evidence of corruption at the state enterprise, opened the building last November, he called it, “a masterpiece owned by the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”

    At a press briefing last week in London for Commonwealth observances, Manning, the chairman of the Commonwealth, noted that the opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) took place at NAPA. “All in all my dear friends, I think that we were pleased with the outcome. Of course, we were able to expose to the international community a new facility in Port-of-Spain: a National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) which as everybody saw, we believe is acknowledged to be a world class facility in a small developing country, seeking and striving to take its place among the great countries of the world,” Manning said. Udecott has blocked attempts to have an open media tour of the project.

    “Taxpayers are going to have to live with this,” Victor said yesterday.
    Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday : newsday.co.tt :

    "Lawd have Mercy"
    Last edited by Gladiator; 03-15-2010 at 03:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Gladiator
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    For those who want to see the outside view of this Academy check the first page of this thread..So....The T&T Government put a hold on the building of the Carnival Centre....

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    progressive masterflex's Avatar masterflex is offline
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    damn!...
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    Gladiator
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterflex View Post
    damn!...
    damn is ah understatement oui

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    Registered User BAJANFUHLIFE is offline
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    Registered User Ananci_7 is offline
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    To those familiar with the cultural attitudes of Trinidad, especially among the (self-appointed) elites, none of this should come as any surprise. Almost anything constructed, purchased or introduced for "the people" has been done in a very top-down condescending way. There is hardly ever any, ANY consultation with the people who are actually going to use what is introduced (or imposed). I saw it in the Defence Force and I see it in all the various agencies of the state. NAPA is just the latest. There is an almost unconscious tendency to assume that the people do not know what exactly they want to enrich their lives, how it must be structured and so things are imposed based on some foreign model or some elite idea of what is best for everyone.

    The other thing and this is probably even more deeply entrenched in Trinidad's cultural attitude is that there is a sense of shame about local creations and anything designed or introduced is done almost reflexively to conform to foreign metropolitan realities. Rubadiri Victor was interviewed on radio this morning and even though he did not say this outright, he alluded to it. He pointed out several times that that Performing Arts Centre was not created for anything Trinbagonians do artistically, it was not created taking into consideration that our performances are outdoor based rather than enclosed in a hall. He as well as Hans Hanoomansingh, the presenter, spoke about the dress code (suit and tie) for the most recent performances and linked that to the Eurocentric reflex that constantly plagues Trinidad's appointed elites who decide how cultural expressions should be structured.

    So it is of no surprise that the whole thing is turning out to be a travesty. Long before it was even built people like Peter Minshall, LeRoi Clarke, Victor, people in the drama fraternity and Earl Lovelace were decrying what was being proposed because there was no consutation or even acknowledging the suggestions of the stakeholders (just like the construction of the myriad of community centres all over the country for eg). To those who are interested Anil Roberts and Sprangalang will be discussing this this afternoon on their radio programme on Power 102FM. It can be heard on Power102FM > HOME
    Create your own university; develop and encourage a culture of critical thinking and action

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    PROUD PROUD TRINI TriniJustice is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ananci_7 View Post
    To those familiar with the cultural attitudes of Trinidad, especially among the (self-appointed) elites, none of this should come as any surprise. Almost anything constructed, purchased or introduced for "the people" has been done in a very top-down condescending way. There is hardly ever any, ANY consultation with the people who are actually going to use what is introduced (or imposed). I saw it in the Defence Force and I see it in all the various agencies of the state. NAPA is just the latest. There is an almost unconscious tendency to assume that the people do not know what exactly they want to enrich their lives, how it must be structured and so things are imposed based on some foreign model or some elite idea of what is best for everyone.

    The other thing and this is probably even more deeply entrenched in Trinidad's cultural attitude is that there is a sense of shame about local creations and anything designed or introduced is done almost reflexively to conform to foreign metropolitan realities. Rubadiri Victor was interviewed on radio this morning and even though he did not say this outright, he alluded to it. He pointed out several times that that Performing Arts Centre was not created for anything Trinbagonians do artistically, it was not created taking into consideration that our performances are outdoor based rather than enclosed in a hall. He as well as Hans Hanoomansingh, the presenter, spoke about the dress code (suit and tie) for the most recent performances and linked that to the Eurocentric reflex that constantly plagues Trinidad's appointed elites who decide how cultural expressions should be structured.
    So it is of no surprise that the whole thing is turning out to be a travesty. Long before it was even built people like Peter Minshall, LeRoi Clarke, Victor, people in the drama fraternity and Earl Lovelace were decrying what was being proposed because there was no consutation or even acknowledging the suggestions of the stakeholders (just like the construction of the myriad of community centres all over the country for eg). To those who are interested Anil Roberts and Sprangalang will be discussing this this afternoon on their radio programme on Power 102FM. It can be heard on Power102FM > HOME
    did you see the "carnival center" i just SMH you really think they going to allow us to play mas in that? bullshit build back the stage for us to cross and play we mas! we do not need that! i think before these people think about these buildings they should consult the people who going to use them with all the jumping and waving we do who in they right mind will build something with glass for trini's for carnival?

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    Registered User Ananci_7 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriniJustice View Post
    did you see the "carnival center" i just SMH you really think they going to allow us to play mas in that? bullshit build back the stage for us to cross and play we mas! we do not need that! i think before these people think about these buildings they should consult the people who going to use them with all the jumping and waving we do who in they right mind will build something with glass for trini's for carnival?
    But that's just the point, they consulting for what? They went to university, they went to concert halls all over the world and know what a concert hall is supposed to be like. The populace are not as cultured as the elites so they have to be led and shown what "culture" and "sophistication" is all about.

    The construction of NAPA and the Carnival Arts Centre and all these white elephants essentially bring up two schools of thought both of which are related. One is that because you have bought into the belief that because of your superior schooling and position, you can develop and conceptualise institutions, buildings and models that YOU know is what the society needs. The other is that because you have bought into the belief that nothing local or indigenous is of any real value, you use your influence whenever you can to create foreign-based institutions and replicate them here to entice the locals away from that which is considered savage, uncultured and so on. Once you understand that, you understand what is wrong with our local covilisation.
    Create your own university; develop and encourage a culture of critical thinking and action

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    Girl Crush Mrs. Campbell's Avatar Mrs. Campbell is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ananci_7 View Post
    To those familiar with the cultural attitudes of Trinidad, especially among the (self-appointed) elites, none of this should come as any surprise. Almost anything constructed, purchased or introduced for "the people" has been done in a very top-down condescending way. There is hardly ever any, ANY consultation with the people who are actually going to use what is introduced (or imposed). I saw it in the Defence Force and I see it in all the various agencies of the state. NAPA is just the latest. There is an almost unconscious tendency to assume that the people do not know what exactly they want to enrich their lives, how it must be structured and so things are imposed based on some foreign model or some elite idea of what is best for everyone.

    The other thing and this is probably even more deeply entrenched in Trinidad's cultural attitude is that there is a sense of shame about local creations and anything designed or introduced is done almost reflexively to conform to foreign metropolitan realities. Rubadiri Victor was interviewed on radio this morning and even though he did not say this outright, he alluded to it. He pointed out several times that that Performing Arts Centre was not created for anything Trinbagonians do artistically, it was not created taking into consideration that our performances are outdoor based rather than enclosed in a hall. He as well as Hans Hanoomansingh, the presenter, spoke about the dress code (suit and tie) for the most recent performances and linked that to the Eurocentric reflex that constantly plagues Trinidad's appointed elites who decide how cultural expressions should be structured.

    So it is of no surprise that the whole thing is turning out to be a travesty. Long before it was even built people like Peter Minshall, LeRoi Clarke, Victor, people in the drama fraternity and Earl Lovelace were decrying what was being proposed because there was no consutation or even acknowledging the suggestions of the stakeholders (just like the construction of the myriad of community centres all over the country for eg). To those who are interested Anil Roberts and Sprangalang will be discussing this this afternoon on their radio programme on Power 102FM. It can be heard on Power102FM > HOME
    Once again, THANK YOU Ananci for pointing this out. A lot of us get blinded by the shiny objects that are being built all in the name of "2020"; all the while not realizing our souls are dying!
    Our Queen went to sleep, her people left to weep....in song she lives on.



    Long Live the Queen!

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    Registered User dedetriniking's Avatar dedetriniking is offline
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    When i was home...i looked at that massive structure that seemed so impressive on the outside and the first thought that crossed my mind is "what are they going to use it for". We are not a society of operas. It doesn't surprise me at all that this is turning out to be a fiasco given that eurocentric approach that is the standard of TnT. It is one of my biggest complaint about the country. It would be a shame if after all the money spent on that building...it just sits there and remain non-functional....a huge white elephant indeed. But nothing surprises me with Manning any more.

    I love how Anil and Sprang does be putting the screws to Manning. I heard that he is suing them now.

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    Registered User dedetriniking's Avatar dedetriniking is offline
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    Priorities people...priorities. The money spent on this useless building could have provided a proper hospital in Point Fortin to serve the people from icacos to rousillac...who now have to travel miles upon miles of treacherous road to get into sando for service from another second rate hospital. boy i tell you.

    Tell the government that productivity of a country starts with a population with access to decent healthcare. Them fellas dohtish boy!!

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    Girl Crush Mrs. Campbell's Avatar Mrs. Campbell is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedetriniking View Post
    Priorities people...priorities. The money spent on this useless building could have provided a proper hospital in Point Fortin to serve the people from icacos to rousillac...who now have to travel miles upon miles of treacherous road to get into sando for service from another second rate hospital. boy i tell you.

    Tell the government that productivity of a country starts with a population with access to decent healthcare. Them fellas dohtish boy!!
    If you know how that does burn my fockin skin eh! Everyday we braggin about oil money, yet ppl in Point and Bago beggin for a friggin hospital.
    Our Queen went to sleep, her people left to weep....in song she lives on.



    Long Live the Queen!

  13. #13
    Registered User dedetriniking's Avatar dedetriniking is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinky eyes View Post
    If you know how that does burn my fockin skin eh! Everyday we braggin about oil money, yet ppl in Point and Bago beggin for a friggin hospital.
    Basic...basic services Chinky. A hospital...a steady water supply...how de phuck yuh could talk about 2020...how de phuck you could put up a "World class" shell of a building in POS and not recognize that basic services for the entire population should come first. Easy to get angry when you see this type of nonsense going on.

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    Closet Exhibitionist Dancer's Avatar Dancer is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinky eyes View Post
    If you know how that does burn my fockin skin eh! Everyday we braggin about oil money, yet ppl in Point and Bago beggin for a friggin hospital.
    I mentioned this while I was down there this year, and I was told to keep meh yankee ideas to meh self. The majority of my family lives in Point and most either work for LNG(The devil) or the soon to be smelter plant in Vessighny...no proper hospital, clinic, burn unit nothing. However, it is ok to spend an additional $80 million on a building that local Trinidadians can't use and only seats 1500 people..Big stupes..

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    KingBea... Cimo 2's Avatar Cimo 2 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dancer View Post
    I mentioned this while I was down there this year, and I was told to keep meh yankee ideas to meh self. The majority of my family lives in Point and most either work for LNG(The devil) or the soon to be smelter plant in Vessighny...no proper hospital, clinic, burn unit nothing. However, it is ok to spend an additional $80 million on a building that local Trinidadians can't use and only seats 1500 people..Big stupes..

    Haha Yankdadian

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