THE Al-Ansar Mosque in the east will finally open its doors to worshippers early next year, after some delay.
It took the team a few extra months to complete the new four-storey building at 155 Bedok North Avenue 1; it had to increase the number of parking spaces in its basement from 11 to 28.
The additional parking space, on top of rising building costs, also meant an increase in the construction costs from an estimated $12.3 million to $15.92 million.
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister- in-charge of Muslim Affairs, visited the site yesterday and said the mosque is on track to be fully operational over the next few months.
He said: "I'm happy with the development and the progress we have made thus far."
Dr Yaacob, who is also Communications and Information Minister, said the mosque is a worthwhile investment.
He said: "We are committed to this project. Costs cannot be avoided because construction costs have gone up. We are caught in the upswing of building construction in Singapore..."
The Al-Ansar Mosque was first built in 1981. In 2009, it was identified as one of six mosques for the Mosque Upgrading Programme Phase 1.
With the upgrading, the capacity of the mosque's prayer space will be increased from 3,500 worshippers to 4,500.
This will help cater to the demand for prayer space in the Bedok and Chai Chee areas and in eastern Singapore, said Muis.
Said Dr Yaacob: "I think this mosque will be the pride of the community because we have been able to address some of the inefficiencies of the older Al-Ansar with something new, something grand and something that will fulfil not only the needs but also the comfort of congregants."
This article was first published on September 03, 2014.
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