Although the Enighed Pond marine terminal already bears the name of the late Sen. Theovald Eric Moorehead, on Monday the V.I. Port Authority will name the terminal’s new administration building in his honor.
“It’s a permanent structure so it’s a more state-of-the-art building,” St. John Administrator Leona Smith said, adding that the building will replace a trailer currently used for offices.
The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at the administration building.
Port Authority spokesman Monifa Marrero said the new building houses public restrooms, a dockmaster’s office and a lounge area for meetings with the dockmaster.
Construction on the administration building began in July 2012 and recently wrapped up. The building cost $2.2 million and was paid for with funding from the GARVEE bonds that financed the marine facility.
The marine facility is used by mainly by barges that move vehicles between St. Thomas and St. John.
The 27th Legislature decided to honor Moorehead by naming the facility after him. According to the legislation passed in 2007, Moorehead, who died in 1995, personally paid to have plans drawn for a marine facility at Enighed Pond.
Port Authority board chairman Robert O’Connor Jr. said Moorehead was the first Port Authority board chairman to hail from St. John.
Best known as Mooie, Moorehead was the owner of the Cruz Bay bar that still bears his name, Mooie’s.
O’Connor, a St. John resident, said Moorehead’s contributions to the community were many.
“And he was my Boy Scout leader,” O’Connor said.
He was the second elected senator from St. John, and during his seven terms in office he sponsored 50 pieces of legislation. His efforts included a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
In 1962, Moorehead was instrumental in leading the fight against the federal government’s plans to take land on St. John by condemnation to expand V.I. National Park.
He served on the first and third Constitutional Conventions.
Moorehead held a law degree from Blackstone Law College in Illinois, and served 11 years in the U.S. Army. He was also involved in real estate and other St. John businesses.
O’Connor said that while the marine area and the administration building are now complete, work remains to be done on the area used for parking. For starters, he said the Port Authority needs to come up with a plan for regulating the parking. While the parking lot was designed for cars, he said people also park large trucks in the area, but the area is not stable enough to support them. The parking lot sits on earth dredged from the pond during construction.
According to O’Connor, it will take between $7 million and $12 million to stabilize what is now the parking lot so it can be used for its intended purpose as a storage area.