Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley last night announced a BDS$2 million multi-purpose complex to be constructed at Silver Hill, Christ Church.
Speaking at the Silver Hill, Christ Church community hard court, Lashley said the centre would be transformed into a complex for sports and other family activities. The project, which is to be funded by the Maria Holder Trust and called the Silver Hill Youth Empowerment Centre, is expected to be completed within a year.
The complex is also expected to feature a children’s playground, teaching centres and mini-stores. Lashley also revealed that the hard court at Silver Hill would be resurfaced and would be decked out with refurbished bleachers and additional seating. There will also be lighting for the hard court as well as changing rooms for home and visiting teams.
“The days of not having proper changing facilities are gone with this project,” Lashley declared.
He added that the long abandoned building adjoining the sports court was earmarked for refurbishing.
“We intend to transform this building over the next months into a multi-purpose youth empowerment centre.
“This is a major project that we will be undertaking. We’re going to improve the parking, we’re going to improve the road network around the area, and the only problem that we will have is that we will probably have so many people who want to come, and experience this atmosphere in Silver Hill.
“This is going to be very transformative for the lives of the people of Silver Hill.”
The Maria Holder Trust’s manager for the project, Mark McGwire, said construction of the project should be completed by the beginning of 2017.
“We estimate that it should be in the region of eight to nine months in totality.”
He said it would be done in three phases, namely the sports courts and the associated works, the building and the children’s play area.
Manager for Maria Holder Trust projects, Jane Armstrong noted: “This is the second community centre that the Trust has funded. We developed the centre in the Pine.
“That centre is much in use now. It proved to be a bonus in that community, and I fully expect this one to be the same thing when it is completed.”
Responding to Minister Lashley’s concerns about employment opportunities for community residents during construction, Armstrong said: “we will write that into our documents that whoever tenders for this, the construction firm will need to use people from the community as far as possible.”