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  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says a sum of $100 million will be provided towards the redevelopment of the 40-acre Alpha Campus in Kingston.
  • The money, to come from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), will be disbursed over a five-year period.
  • “We have agreed that it will be provided in tranches of $20 million over the five-year cycle that is required for the building out of the facility,” Minister Bartlett said.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says a sum of $100 million will be provided towards the redevelopment of the 40-acre Alpha Campus in Kingston.

The money, to come from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), will be disbursed over a five-year period.

“We have agreed that it will be provided in tranches of $20 million over the five-year cycle that is required for the building out of the facility,” Minister Bartlett said.

He was speaking at the launch of the Alpha Mercy Historical Centre project, located on the Alpha Campus at 26 South Camp Road, Kingston, on Wednesday (December 12).

The centre, which is part of the redevelopment initiative, is proposed to serve as a museum for the collection, preservation and display of artefacts, documents and other materials depicting the history of the Sisters of Mercy in Jamaica and their contribution and continued impact on the country’s cultural, social and educational development for more than a century.

It is expected to contribute to community and heritage tourism, and will include a peace garden that is designed to promote harmony using themes and motifs derived from nature.

The Tourism Ministry, through the TEF, is contributing $10.8 million towards the establishment of the museum.

The funds will go towards reroofing and conversion of the north garage into an office building; entry and courtyard; covered walkways; refurbishing the area for conservation of archives; completion of display areas and conference room; façade improvement and removal of garage shed; historic display content – storyboards, portraits and artistic reproductions, landscaping and benches for the peace garden.

The Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund has donated $3 million for the renovation of a building to be converted into the museum.

Minister Bartlett commended the Sisters of Mercy for their dedicated charity work, which he said, has benefited scores of young people.

“We have to look at how do we build on that tradition, extend that legacy and create more… . I want more capital development of the human spirit,” he said.

Area Administrator for Sisters of Mercy, Sister Susan Frazer, thanked the TEF and CHASE for their “generous donations”.

She also hailed the partnership with the Tourism Ministry, noting that “they have the expertise that we want and access to the support that is available from government… so that an authentic and attractive community heritage tourism product can be (developed), which welcomes local and international visitors to Kingston”.

The Alpha Campus redevelopment project also includes a new school of music at the Alpha Institute, offering a four-year associate degree in music; a new primary school for approximately 1,000 children, which will incorporate technology-based education; a performing and visual arts centre for girls; a new science laboratory for the Alpha Convent of Mercy Academy; an amphitheatre for entertainment; restoration of the early 20th century buildings; and widening the roadways and entrances to the property.

The infrastructural development of the Alpha Campus will directly benefit the 4,000 children enrolled at the five educational institutions located on the grounds.

More than 18,000 individuals and families will indirectly be impacted by the redevelopment plans.