Parkinson project begins tomorrow

In another 11 months the people of the Pinelands will have a spanking new Parkinson Community Centre valued at $2.9 million.

The project, which is fully funded by the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, will officially begin tomorrow. The expanded facility will have a floor space of 5,775 square feet on the ground floor; 4,310 square feet on the first floor and an extended bleachers area of 2,655 square feet.

In addition, a small play park for children will be constructed, along with a car park, a ramp to facilitate the entrance to the facility will be located on the southern side of the facility and user-friendly toilet facilities will be installed to accommodate the physically challenged. It was also disclosed that mirrors would be installed on the walls so that individuals involved in creative dancing can monitor their movements.

Speaking on behalf of the trust, Michael Russell regretted the late start of the project, pointing out that it was scheduled to begin on April 1. Russell said today’s meeting would be the last since they had finally appointed a project manager and the site would be handed over to the construction company, GH Construction Company Ltd, with the demolition process beginning tomorrow.

Meanwhile, giving the background to the project, Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steven Blackett, told the gathering that three years ago the Maria Holder Memorial Trust expressed an interest in the development of the sports and recreation facilities.

Blackett pointed out that one of the stated plans of his ministry was the refocusing of the Community Development Department as an agent of mobilisation and organisation of communities as a base for their further empowerment.

The Government, he added, recognised the importance of promoting cohesiveness in communities and therefore saw the refurbishment and maintenance of Community/Resource Centres as playing an important role in this regard.

Blackett told the gathering, which included Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Care, Bruce Alleyne; Chief Community Development Officer, Sandra Greenidge; Trustee of the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Michael Russell; Project Manager, George Holder of Design Collaborative; Chairman of GH Construction Company Ltd, Gerald Hopkins; Senior Architect at the Ministry of Transport and Works, Stanton Haynes; and Chairman of St. Michael South East Constituency Council, Patrick Tannis that when completed the centre would be able to accommodate residents of the area who wanted to prepare for competitions such as the Dance Fest Competition. (NC)

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