JIS News

More than 100 residents from Mandeville and adjoining communities in Manchester, came out to participate in the revitalisation of Brooks Park, on Labour Day (May 25).
Work on the park, which was the parish project for Labour Day, began on May 22, with heavy equipment haulage contractors donating their time to remove large trees, and levelling the earth in some sections of the park.
Chairperson of the Brooks Park Development Management Board, Dr. Clifton Reid, said that actual work on the park began a few months ago, when it was cleaned.
Brooks Park is a 38-acre property situated on Wint Road, in Mandeville, and owned by the Manchester Parish Council. In recent times, eight acres have been leased to three entities – the Manchester Horticultural Society – which has used its acreage for the Horticultural Showground; the Ministry of Education, which leased the land to house the Mandeville Infant School; and the Lions Club of Mandeville, which has set up its Health and Civic Centre.
Dr. Reid said that the development of Brooks Park will be done in five phases, with phase one expected to cost approximately $20 million. This will consist of an amphitheatre, a family picnic area, a kiddies area and a multi-purpose court.
He pointed out that assistance is expected from Members of Parliament in Manchester, Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, Peter Bunting, Dean Peart and Michael Peart.
“In the first phase, we hope to complete the amphitheatre, a family picnic area, a kiddies area and an all purpose court. The amphitheatre should cost about $5 million. So, the funds from the Members of Parliament would go primarily to start the amphitheatre,” he said.
The other four phases of the development will consist of a mini stadium, to seat between 10,000 and 15,000 persons; cycle and athletic tracks, shops, a civic centre, an indoor arena to capture most of the major sports, a heated indoor swimming pool, a pond, and a youth information centre.
Dr. Reid noted that the entire project is slated to be completed in 20 years, but with proper funding, the project could be finished within five years.
Meanwhile, Mayor of Mandeville, Her Worship the Mayor of Mandeville Councillor Brenda Ramsay, said that the Manchester Parish Council decided to make the revitalisation of Brooks Park the parish project, because it is quite labour intensive.
“The turn out was very good and the persons worked. I am really happy that the spirits are high and anything we at the Council can do, not just for Labour Day but on-going, as this facility can become something that all of us in Manchester and the region and Jamaica at large can be proud of,” she said.

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