Deanery Road Dust Bowl Transformed Into Sports Complex

Photo: Donald De La Haye Managing Director, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Omar Sweeney (right), cuts the ribbon to officially open the Franklyn Town Sports Complex located at 3 Deanery Road in Kingston, recently. Others (from left) are Project Manager, Operations Section, European Union, Marlene Lamonth; Councillor, Vineyard Town Division, Andrew Swaby; and Sergeant Rodney Matthews of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

Story Highlights

  • The dust bowl at 3 Deanery Road in St. Andrew, which has long been a nuisance to community members, has been transformed into a multipurpose sports complex.
  • The $46.4-million project comprises a football field, netball and basketball court, asphaltic concrete walking track, training room, spectator stands, upgraded bathrooms, perimeter fencing as well as a sprinkler system for watering the grounds.
  • Managing Director, JSIF, Omar Sweeney, urged the residents to treasure the facility. “You have an incredible asset that has been put here,” he said.

The dust bowl at 3 Deanery Road in St. Andrew, which has long been a nuisance to community members, has been transformed into a multipurpose sports complex.

With the conversion of the area, residents of Franklyn Town and its environs now have a space for recreational and social activities, and to enhance their health and wellness.

The $46.4-million project comprises a football field, netball and basketball court, asphaltic concrete walking track, training room, spectator stands, upgraded bathrooms, perimeter fencing as well as a sprinkler system for watering the grounds.

The European Union (EU) and the Government of Jamaica provided $42 million for the project under the third phase of the Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP), which is being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).

An additional contribution of $4.4 million came from the Franklyn Town Community Development Committee.

In expressing gratitude for the facility, Vice-President, Franklyn Town Community Development Committee, Donet Booth, said the transformed space will provide an area where persons can hone their sports skills and participate in social events.

He informed that representatives from the public and private sectors have, so far, utilised the facility for sports activities.

“This location has been around for many years. It has been a dust bowl, it has been an area where people just loiter and idle away… so this effort really did great for the community,” he said, during the official handover of the facility on July 7.

He lauded the EU and JSIF for the valuable investment made in the community.

Managing Director, JSIF, Omar Sweeney, urged the residents to treasure the facility. “You have an incredible asset that has been put here,” he said.

He noted that there is scope for further development, and urged the executives of the Franklyn Town Community Development Committee to seek assistance from the private sector in this regard.

“I think that what is here today is a commitment that the community has in developing this space, and I think you should take this commitment far and wide to corporate Jamaica and let (them) know that this is a space (which can be shared),” he said.

As part of the project, several community groups benefited from training in disaster preparedness and emergency management, including fire-prevention techniques, facilities management and operational procedures, and budget and financial planning.

The organisations involved in the training included Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Dispute Resolution Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

Head of the EU Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska said the rehabilitated area must be used to engage community members in a positive way.

“Continue to do what you are doing. You are reaping good success,” she said in a message delivered by Project Manager, Operations Section, European Union, Marlene Lamonth.
Councillor for the Vineyard Town Division, Andrew Swaby, urged the community members to protect the facility and keep it in excellent condition.

The project implementation period lasted for approximately six months.

The Poverty Reduction Programme supports a variety of activities aimed at helping citizens to uplift themselves and their communities.

These include investments in the rehabilitation of police stations, community health centres, schools, roads, community centres, and water and sanitation projects. It also offers vocational and tertiary scholarships.

For the past 20 years, JSIF has made significant strides with the successful implementation of several projects geared towards community renewal.

JIS Social