CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (December 08, 2010) — Inclement weather did not halt the ground breaking for a $1million Community Centre in Cotton Ground late Tuesday. Premier of Nevis and Parliamentary Representative Hon, Joseph Parry, turned the sod to signal the start of the four to six month project which will be constructed by Malvern Jeffers Construction, owned by villager Mr. Malvern Jeffers.
Minister of Community Development Hon. Hensley Daniel, who was on hand to witness the occasion, told villagers they were witnessing a new page in the history of Cotton Ground.
“I am told that Cotton Ground is vibrant community with a history of steel pan, music dance and drama but there is no home whereby people can enhance these talents.
“We got a proposal from him [Mr. Chesley Davis] when we came back to government and we were able to come here before to have consultations with the people as to what they want. So the project as identified by Mr. Ernie Stapleton [Permanent Secretary Ministry of Communications and Works], is what came from the people when we had a town hall meeting, to discuss with them what they wanted,” he said.
The Minister added that the sitting Nevis Island Administration was spending $1million dollars on a community centre, to invigorate the community and to help to quell anti social behaviour.
Mr. Daniel said he had been counting the cost of anti social behaviour in the communities on Nevis and the facility would serve as a intervention in the village Cotton Ground.
“This is a targeted intervention here at Cotton Ground to bring the programmes to the community so that people develop a sense of belonging, a sense of hope and people can participate.
“We in the Ministry of Social Development, have the programmes already we simply need the building. When this building is finished, we are going to have the Homework Assistance Programme, the Bikes Not Bombs Programme, the Reading Starts with Us Programme and we are going to develop leadership and training programmes here. Most importantly, we have a programme for developing young entrepreneurs where we deal with business incubation and teach young people the basics of managing business. We want to get the community tuned to that,” he explained.
Meantime, while he gave an overview of the facility, Mr. Stapleton said the centre was designed for use as a learning skill development facility and a meeting place for the people of Cotton Ground.
He noted that on completion it would be able to be used as an emergency shelter if it became necessary for villagers.
The 7,170 sq ft. structure will be made of masonry and will consist of two levels. The lower level will house five training rooms, a storage area and rest rooms while the main floor will house an office, library, kitchen, longue, computer lab and a multi-purpose auditorium.
The grounds will be landscaped to facilitate parking and pedestrian movement and it will also include a playing area for children. It will be well lit and can be services on all sides.
According to Mr. Stapleton, the building primarily will be reinforced concrete block work with a concrete roof over the two wings and timber pitched roof with galvanize sheets over the auditorium. The project will be managed by the Project Management Unit of the Ministry of Communications and Works and the Public Works Department.
During the ceremony the National Anthem was rendered on steel pan by Mr. Leroy Parris and the invocation by Mrs. Clara Smithen. There was also a steel pan rendition by Miss Davina Wilkinson and a song by Mr. Deondre Moving. Chairman for the occasion was Mr. Chesley “Faro” Davis.