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The Devon community centre in Manchester, which sustained major damage from hurricanes Ivan and Dean, has been refurbished at a cost of $5M under the Lift Up Jamaica Programme.
The facility was formally re-opened and handed over to the Devon Community Council on July 17.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, President of the Council – David Hackett said the organization would seek to expand the building to house several facilities and services beneficial to the residents. These include: a library, clinic, and remedial evening classes for the elderly. The complex currently has a grandstand, and external bathroom facilities for sporting activities, among other features.
“We will (also) be using it as a training facility for our young people, and will enter into partnership with HEART/NTA [in this regard]. We could not allow the Centre to be renovated and not utilize the facilities in a positive way,” Mr. Hackett outlined.
Also speaking at the function, Social Development Commission (SDC) Zone Officer for Devon, Althea Robertson, said she was pleased with the project’s completion.
“For the past two years that I have been working in the community, persons have always been desirous of having this centre restored. I am looking forward to bigger and better things from the community [now that the project has been completed],” Mrs. Robertson said.
Councillor for the area, Leroy Mitchell noted that the centre was a gift to the community and urged the residents to protect and preserve it for the benefit of future generations.
“We thank our Member of Parliament, Mr. Audley Shaw, for his lobbying efforts with Lift Up Jamaica to get this project done; there are a lot of communities across Jamaica that would love to have a centre like the one we have in Devon. Remember, that in times of disaster, it will be used as a shelter, and we want it to be around for many years. We are determined not to have it run down as it did in the past,” Mr. Mitchell asserted.