$51M modern recreational facility for Sophia

The Ministry of Housing and Water – Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) on Thursday signed a $51 million contract for the construction of a state-of-the-art multipurpose facility in Section C, Turkeyen (Sophia), Georgetown. 

The project falls under the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme (AHUAP), which is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). It also includes the upgrade of another existing recreational facility in the area.

Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal

Minister, Hon. Collin Croal told residents the AHUAP is designed to improve the quality of life for persons in urban and peril-urban Georgetown, by improving access to housing and infrastructure in these areas.

“This means that facilities like this one that will be built will help you have a better quality of life and the children will have a safe space to play and learn,” he said.

Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal and Minister within the Ministry, Hon. Susan Rodrigues, Permanent Secretary, Mr. Andre Ally and CEO of Central Housing and Planning Authority, Mr. Sherwyn Greaves during the sod turning for the recreational facility.

Minister Croal also said the project forms part of the PPP/C Government’ strategy to enhance Sophia and its environs and the lives of the thousands of residents there.

“My friends, it is important that you know that these interventions in Sophia are not by chance. My Government has carefully considered the needs of communities like Sophia and we want to ensure that all of the benefits from this programme will accrue to you,” the Minister said.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Hon. Susan Rodrigues

Minister within the Ministry, Hon. Susan Rodrigues, said the project will enhance the community’s aesthetics and enrich the lives of the people. It also aligns with the Administration’s strategy to build sustainable communities by ensuring access to recreational, health and educational facilities.

“It speaks to a larger conviction that we have, as a Government, to be able to reach out to vulnerable communities and to be involved in projects that have a softer approach,” she said.

An artist’s impression of the recreational facility

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary, Mr. Andre Ally, who provided an overview of the project, said it is the largest single investment in a recreational facility by the CH&PA.

He noted that the scope of the works include the construction of a 26×50 reinforced concrete structure with an open view deck and bleachers, open ground floor space with washroom and changing room, tiled floors with wheelchair access ramp, a basketball court, play area with swings, sea saw, slide and round climber.

Sophia residents at the event

It also includes electrical fixtures such as lighting and outlets, fire prevention and emergency lighting, solar flood lights and walkway lighting, elevated ground and a new fence.

CH&PA Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sherwyn Greaves; Deputy Director of Projects, Mr. Intakab Indarjeet and Project Manager of Sophia Community Development Association, Mr. Sidney Nelson also attended the event.