CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 01, 2010) — Villagers of Jessups will have a $1.36 million community center to call their own in the next eight months. The facility will be one of five constructed in various villages under the Nevis Island Administration’s stimulus package programme, designed to spur economic activity through construction.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development Mr. Alsted Pemberton disclosed at the official ground breaking ceremony on Friday in Jessups, that construction work would commence in November. Funding from the project would come from the Social Security Board. It will be constructed by Mr. Rudolph Nisbett of Beat Deal Construction Services of Jessups.
While he presented an overview of the building, Mr. Pemberton said the ground floor of the concrete two storey structure would measure 3,500sqft and it would be covered by a galvanized and timber roof. The first floor will measure 1608sqft. The facility will be adjacent to the Jessups Methodist Church and border with the village main road.
According to Mr. Pemberton, the ground floor would consist of a 1560sqft auditorium that could hold between 100-130 persons with ease. It would also have a stage and an adjoining change room which would make the center suitable for social gatherings, community functions and concerts among others.
Adjacent to the auditorium will be an inside ticket booth which would be sheltered in the event of inclement weather.
The facility would also be outfitted with a 275sqft kitchen. On completion, it would be utilised for training and with its strategic position would be used to serve the public when activities are held there. It will be equipped with a large extractor fan, designed to keep the kitchen cool at all times and to control fumes.
Mr. Pemberton said further that the center would also have a laundry for washing when the facility is used for camp meetings and related activities.
The ground floor will also have separate male and female washrooms each with three toilets, two showers and facilities for physically challenged persons.
There will be an internal staircase which would lead from the ground to the first floor and provisions have also been made for physically challenged persons with a ramp that would also lead to the top floor from the outside.
However, the first floor Mr. Pemberton explained would consist of a computer room and training rooms.
“A computer room to facilitate computer education for at least 15-20 persons at any given time; A training room that will be used for a wide range of skill training programmes; A reading room to be used by the community to complement the reading recovery programmes in the schools; A library for research and to promote reading within the community; A server room and male and female washrooms with two toilets each and two showers,” he said.
Mr. Pemberton said the facility would also serve as a hurricane shelter. It will be equipped with a stand by generator and a cistern with a holding capacity of about 20,000 gallons of water.
Parking will be at the front of the building toward the public road which would facilitate easy entry and exit. The yard would be paved and the property fenced.
Meantime, in opening remarks, Chairman of the ground breaking ceremony Mr. Ashley Farrell told fellow villagers, that the facility was long time in coming and urged them to take advantage of its multiple uses.
“I expect that the community center will be used to do a number of things. It will be a meeting place for Jessups people. It will be a place for concerts and those of you the older ones remember people like Janie. You could imagine what Janie would be doing in a community center? It would be a place for town hall meetings. It will be a venue for talks [and] lectures etc. and it will be a place where movies can be shown…
“It will also be a place where classes would be kept for all ages from tots right up to adults. It will be a place where villagers could learn skills such as art and craft, music, computer skills, playing table tennis, learning karate and perhaps I could teach villagers how to box,” he said to an amused crowd.
Mr. Farrell said on completion, the community centre would help turn idle youths into productive and responsible citizens and he expected it to be a hive of activity since it would be ideally located for access from every area of the village.
“I expect that there will be no excuse of there being too far because the community centre is smick smack right in the centre of the village and everybody would be able to use it… I want you to use the community centre, use it well, care it and make sure you don’t allow anybody and I repeat, anybody to vandalise it,” he stressed.
The ground breaking ceremony was dotted with poetry and song. The national anthem was sung by student of the St. Thomas Primary School Master Erleon David, a poem was rendered by another student Master Mickel Meloney, while a group of Grade 5 students and a member of the Jessups New Testament Church of God each sang a song. The invocation was done by Pastor James Douglas.