Sod turned for new $14M multi-purpose North Sophia community ground
The community of North Sophia has signed a $14 million contract with the Local Government and Regional Development Ministry for the construction of a new multi-purpose community ground and safe space for children.
At the sod-turning ceremony on Saturday, Local Government Minister, Nigel Dharamlall noted that the project is a fulfilment of the Vice President, upon request by residents.
“On the directive of the Vice President who has made a commitment to the people of North Sophia to construct a community centre and to do some upgrading work towards creating a safe space for people within the community and so this morning we are here to turn the sod for the construction of the community centre and all the attendant work that has to be done.
“We are happy too that we have so many young people employed here. This project will last a few weeks with 30 persons employed and it is part of the government’s commitment to greater collaboration within our communities,” the minister noted.
Currently, work is being done on the lining and digging of the foundation. The steel works are also ongoing to ensure the casting of the foundation can be executed on Monday.
Once completed, fencing will commence.
Construction works are expected to be completed by the first week of February.
The construction of the 30 x 30 building with a 20-foot span to facilitate a shed is the first phase of the project. The government has committed to injecting more resources, once completed to further enhance the community ground.
Similarly, Tourism Minister, Oneidge Walrond stressed that the project will be owned by the community and serves to build closer relations and development.
“This is going to be a space where the community has an opportunity to work together. It is going to be a safe space for the children and already they’ve been a request for the senior citizens to come out and plant flowers when the building is set up. A place for children to come and have their lessons, a safe space for them to play after school. There is going to be many organised activities here…and so this community centre, as simple as it may seem is going to provide all of that, so it’s going to be a tremendous benefit to the community and as government, we have responded and this is another promise that we have fulfilled,” she said.
A programme will be launched for senior citizens especially those who are considered shut-ins to have them meaningfully engaged through exercise among other activities.
Meanwhile, Chairman of North Sophia CDC, Uriah France said the project is impactful as it provided many youths from the community with employment.
He noted that, “it is a really good initiative really good on their part in terms of helping a lot of persons to be gainfully employed. So hopefully we can continue with this and have more persons employed within the community.”
Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister, Kwame McCoy was also present at the sod-turning ceremony.