SINGAPORE - The AL-ANSAR Mosque will finally open its doors to worshippers early next year after a delay of "a few months".
Work on the new four-storey building at 155 Bedok North Avenue 1 started in the fourth quarter of 2012 and was due to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.
However construction delays and an increase in the number of parking lots in its basement from 11 to 28 saw the completion date pushed back.
Rising construction costs, also meant an increase in the construction costs from an estimated $12.3 million to about $15.92 million today.
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs and Communications and Information Minister Dr Yaacob Ibrahim visited the site on Tuesday. He said the mosque is on track to be fully operational over the next few months.
"We are committed to this project," he said. 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 and was identified as one of the six mosques to undergo the Mosque Upgrading Programme Phase 1 in 2009.
With the upgrading, the capacity of the 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 area and eastern Singapore.
The mosque will have ramps and railings to cater for its more senior worshippers. There will also be better facilities for the community, families and young people, including a roof garden, a youth activity room and a multi-purpose auditorium.
Dr Yaccob added: "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 not only fulfil the needs but the comfort of congregants."