The official residence of the Head of State at Vailele was officially re-opened yesterday afternoon after undergoing a $600,000 renovation.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said the residence of the Head of States would be used by His Highness, Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II and his Masiofo, Her Highness Faamausili Leinafo Tuimalealiifano.
“The cost for the renovation of the building was $400,000 and the renewing of the gate was estimated to be $140,000, so the whole cost of the project was close to $600,000,” he said.
“The renovation includes the Head of State’s Office and this will also be the place where all credential presentations will be held.”
He added the idea to build a proper place for the Head of States had been in the pipeline for so long.
“Ever since the term of the Head of States came along, the place at Vailima was the original residence of the Head of States,” he said.
“However, the place was damaged by Tropical Cyclone Ofa and Val and therefore the Cabinet at the time decided that it was too expensive to renovate that place."
“We then decided that it would be good to turn into a museum and find some other place to build the residence for the Head of States.”
Tuilaepa said the Cabinet ordered engineers and architectures to come up with a picture of the home of the Head of States and they did.
“It was such a beautiful picture when they brought it to Cabinet however, when they came and build the house it was a totally different building from what we saw in the picture that they brought to us.”
He said the residence of the Head of states should have been a two-storey building.
“We only saw the building when we came and looked at it and they build it differently from what they drew on paper,” he said.
“So this is just the residence of the Head of States for the time being but I have already talked to the Central Bank and others to ensure that this is part of their plans in the future.”