• JIS News

    Ground was broken on June 26 for the construction of phase two of a training centre at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, by Her Excellency, the Most Hon. Lady Rheima Hall.
    Work is expected to begin in July and should be completed within the next six months.
    Construction of the centre is being spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Spanish Town, in partnership with the Spanish Town YMCA and other private and government agencies.
    Funding for the second phase, estimated to cost some $14 million, will be provided by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), with the YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester County in White Plains, United States, which has adopted the organisation, making a contribution and assisting to equip the building.
    The two-storey structure, which will be built on the YMCA’s property on Monk Street, will house four classrooms for vocational skills training, and a sanitary block. Phase one comprised construction of the foundation, a steel frame and roofing.
    Speaking at the ceremony, Chairman of the YMCA, Vixon Leslie said the ground-breaking was the realization of a dream which began over 10 years ago.
    “It is more than a decade of hard work in realizing our dreams and aspirations of starting a building,” he said, adding that persons at the centre would assist to address the needs of at-risk young persons in and around the community by teaching them skills and segments of the performing arts. He said the centre would also host functions and used as a venue for meetings of other service clubs.
    “If you look around today, you will see many young men who are seeking a second chance in improving their self worth and self-esteem and are desirous of making their contribution to the development of the country,” he said.
    In an interview with JIS News, President of the Rotary Club of Spanish Town, Michael Terrelonge said the facility would be able to train at least 300 young persons per year. He added that training would be done by HEART Trust/NTA.
    He said the students would also be taught good values and attitude and how to appreciate the rich cultural heritage of Spanish Town.
    “One of our dreams is to teach these children about the historical history of Spanish Town, to train them in architectural and historical renovation, so they can contribute to the actual renovation of these buildings,” he added.
    Also addressing the ceremony were: Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr. Andrew Wheatley and Member of Parliament for South Central St. Catherine, Sharon Hay Webster.

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