In an important symbol of our enduring friendship with Suriname, U.S. Ambassador to Suriname Jay N. Anania, participated in a topping out ceremony for the new U.S. Embassy in Paramaribo today. Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Michiel Raafenberg, represented the Government of Suriname at the ceremony and helped christen the new structure.
The topping off marks the completion of the highest point of the construction – the roof of the new chancery. During the ceremony, the construction team hoisted a symbolic metal “tree” bearing the flags of the United States and Suriname, as well as of the ten other nationalities represented at the work site, to the roof with a tower crane.
Construction is now 47 percent complete and is ahead of schedule. To date, workers poured more than 16,000 cubic meters of concrete and placed 1,600 metric tons of steel. Since construction began in March 2014, the construction contractor, B.L. Harbert International, LLC, of Birmingham, Alabama, hired more than 1,000 workers, 958 of whom are Surinamers.
The multi-building complex is situated on an 8-acre site in the Morgenstond area and includes a two-story chancery/office building, three access pavilions, maintenance shops, a warehouse, and recreation facilities. When completed, the new complex will provide more than 100 embassy employees with a safe, secure, and sustainable workplace.
Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP of Portland, Oregon is the design architect. The new Embassy is scheduled to be completed in summer 2016.
Since 1999, as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Capital Security Construction Program, the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO) completed 111 new diplomatic facilities and has an additional 32 projects in design or under construction.
OBO’s mission is to provide safe, secure, and functional facilities that represent the U.S. government to the host nation and support our staff in the achievement of U.S. foreign policy objectives. These facilities represent American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, sustainability, art, culture, and construction execution.