The Full Story
Residents of Sherlock Crescent in Kingston are already feeling the benefits of the recently established Sherlock Community Cultural Centre, which is serving as a vital resource facility, while promoting closer bonds among the citizens.
The Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, as part of its mandate to support national cultural and educational initiatives, provided $49 million for the development of the multipurpose facility.
Assistant Secretary for the Sherlock Crescent Citizens Association, Yanique Passmore, said the centre is a significant asset as it will enable children in the area to have an easily accessible, safe place to get assistance with their assignments.
“I think the centre will benefit the community in a very positive way because parents, like myself, will appreciate that our children have somewhere safe to go to do their homework. We are thinking of putting in a homework centre where you will have persons coming to assist the kids,” she said, noting also that the space will facilitate various community events.
Vice President of the Association, Elaine Gardener, said the centre will nurture the development of budding talent within the community, which, she noted, has already produced several popular entertainers.
“We thank the CHASE Fund for the vision of seeing the need of providing us with this wonderful structure. They saw the need, knowing that our community has put out cultural artists such as Baby Cham and Konshens, just to name a few,” she pointed out.
The building was constructed at a cost of $46.6 million. Construction commenced March 2021 and was completed within eight months.
The multipurpose facility, which measures approximately 5,000 square feet, includes an event hall with stage area, a room that can facilitate a music studio, a homework centre, office, kitchen, and bathroom facilities, as well as a computer centre which was furnished this year with three computers, six desks, and chairs. Perimeter fencing was installed in 2022.
The Sherlock Crescent Citizens Association is to oversee the management of the centre.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service and Member of Parliament for St. Andrew North Western, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, who brought greetings at the official opening of the centre, located in Duhaney Park, said the endowment is for the benefit of current and future generations.
He further said the facility’s establishment represents an investment in the innate value and talents of the young residents of the community.
“This cultural centre is gifted to you by the people of Jamaica. Let us use it to achieve the vision of human development at the highest level for the young children and young people of the Sherlock Crescent community,” the Minister said.
Noting that Sherlock Crescent has a long history of producing talents that have made significant contributions to Jamaica, Dr. Clarke said the centre will assist in continuing that legacy.
“Through this investment, we are aiming for the Sherlock community to achieve even more than it has achieved before,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), CHASE Fund, W. Billy Heaven, said the establishment of the centre is intended to foster the academic and creative talents of residents in the area as well as to promote community development.
These, he noted, are in line with the agency’s mandate to support the advancement of the nation’s cultural and educational sectors.
“Communities need functional spaces to support community development and to engage and empower especially the youth,” he said.
“At CHASE, we believe in cultural community spaces that can bring communities together. We believe the centre will serve the purpose it is intended to serve and will continue to empower the community at large,” Mr. Heaven added.
He said the CHASE Fund has, to date, contributed $286 million for cultural community centres across Jamaica.