Only one bidder for courthouse demolition
Work to demolish the historic Apia Courthouse, which began last week, was the result of a tender process which only attracted one bidder: Schwarz Construction, the Samoa Observer has confirmed.
The company’s tender for dismantling the 118-year-old structure, believed to be the oldest building in the country and which dates back to Samoa’s period of German colonial administration, was to the amount of $72,990.
The Ministry of Finance’s Chief Executive Officer, Leasiosiofaasisina Oscar Malielegaoi, speaking in his capacity as a member of the Tender Board, confirmed Schwarz was the sole bidder.
“I confirm that when the tender, which was publicly advertised, for the old courthouse demolition closed, only one bidder, Schwarz Construction, [had] submitted a bid,” he said in an email.
The location of the demolished building is set to become the new headquarters for the Samoa International Financial Authority (S.I.F.A.).
S.I.F.A.’s advertisement for contractors to demolish the courthouse was published in early 2020, with a final deadline for bids set on 27 January.
The Schwarz Construction company is owned by Alai’asa Schwartz Hunt.
Last week the Managing Director of the company, Alai’asa, told the Samoa Observer they are not going to damage the building’s raw materials and intend to rebuild a replica of the original.
He told the Samoa Observer that he plans to restore the building with a replica of the site with a view to possibly running it as a tourist enterprise.
“We have plans to relocate the building but we’re currently looking for land in town to do it. My dream is to rebuild a replica of the original building,” Alaiasa said.
“I want to return it to its former glory. We have plans to relocate the building but we’re currently looking for land in town to do it. My dream is to rebuild a replica of the original building. I want to return it to its former glory.”
He said the building is an authentic example of colonial-era architecture that can no longer be found..
“We're excited to uncover what lies beneath and we're not going to just get a machine and bulldoze the whole thing down,” Alaiasa said.
“We're going to painstakingly pull apart piece by piece each material until we finish and the plan is to salvage as much as possible for the rebuilding".