- Construction of the community centre will cost $10 million.
- The centre will be used as a shelter in the event of hurricane or other natural disaster.
- Residents of Belvedere and surrounding communities will benefit from employment opportunities during the execution of the project.
Ground was broken in Belvedere, Westmoreland on Thursday (Feb. 20), for construction of a community centre at a cost of $10 million.
The project, which will be undertaken through the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), is scheduled to be completed within six months and will serve approximately 5,000 residents.
The community centre is being built on more than two acres of property donated by community member, Gladstone Spence.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Eastern Westmoreland, Hon. Luther Buchanan, who addressed the ground breaking ceremony, said that the project “is a clear indication that this Government is serious about rural development”.
In addition to serving as a facility for community meetings and activities, Mr. Buchanan said the centre will be used as a shelter in the event of hurricane or other natural disaster.
“This centre will serve as one such shelter of refuge for the entire area. I am therefore saying to you as citizens of Belvedere, take very, very good care of this community centre,” he implored.
“As soon as I see how you are taking care of it, I will make a commitment for there to be a hard court established here for netball, basketball and other sporting activities for the youth,” he told the residents.
Mr. Buchanan informed that the project will be carried out on a work-rotation basis and that the fullest co-operation is expected from all the residents. He also urged the contractor to ensure that the project is completed within time and budget.
Residents of Belvedere and surrounding communities will benefit from employment opportunities during the execution of the project.
“The JEEP programme has been designed to create employment and this is what the organisation is really about,” said Chairman and Manager of the JEEP programme, Lucille Brodber.
“This project will help to improve the community of Belvedere as well as surrounding communities. Under the JEEP programme, we have employed in excess of 40,000 persons and worked on various projects island-wide such as drain rehabilitation, agricultural projects, and community facilities such as this (one), as well as in the education sector,” Mrs. Brodber informed.