New AIT compound expected to open in September: Moy

Taipei, The new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) compound is scheduled to officially open for service in early September, AIT head Kin Moy (???) said Tuesday.

The AIT chief said a dedication ceremony for the new compound of the United States' de facto embassy in Taiwan will be held on June 12, but it will not officially begin operations until early September, Moy said during an interview with ICRT on Tuesday morning.

"We are looking at, I am projecting here a little bit, the beginning of September when we will actually move," Moy said, with the exact date likely coming around Labor Day in the U.S., which falls on the first Monday of September every year.

Before the move is made, all of the AIT's services are still available at its current compound on Xinyi Road, he said.

Moy described the new AIT as having very "distinctive architecture."

He said he took President Tsai Ing-wen (???) on a tour of the compound a few weeks ago, and "she said it is very American," he noted, explaining that the compound gave her a relaxed and welcoming feeling.

Tsai will give a speech at the dedication of the Neihu compound on June 12.

Moy said the AIT has been in its current location since 1979 and that an upgrade was needed for the benefit of both Taiwanese and Americans in Taiwan.

The AIT chief, who is set to leave Taiwan this summer after having served three years as the U.S.'s de facto ambassador here, also said the new five-floor building will allow the AIT to bring all of its staff and branches under one roof.

Most people do not know that the AIT has other offices and people scattered around the city, such as its agricultural and commerce division, he said, but that will change once the new compound is ready.

To meet growing demand, the AIT leased a 6.5-hectare site on a Neihu hillside from the Taipei City government for 99 years in 2004 to build the new facility. It is within walking distance of Neihu Station on the Taipei MRT's Brown Line.

The compound includes an office building of approximately 14,000 square meters, a parking area and ancillary structures. It was originally scheduled to be completed in 2015 but has suffered delays.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel