Statement By Minister For Education And Culture Honourable Myron Walwyn
At The Fourth Sitting Of The Fourth Session Of
The Second House Of Assembly Of The Virgin Islands
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Refurbishment Of Recreation Facilities In The Territory
Thank you Madame Speaker for giving me the opportunity to make a brief statement on ongoing works to refurbish a number of recreational facilities in the Territory. As a Ministry Madame Speaker we recognize the importance of having the right social environment for the youth of the Territory. We know that there is much to do for our young people and we have started many initiatives for the youth over the last three years to ensure they are given the right opportunities to excel. We will do our best to continue to cover as many areas as possible but one area of concentration I want to report on today Madame Speaker, is upgrading the sports facilities in various communities, mainly basketball courts and also the softball field in Road Town.
Madame Speaker, currently the Virgin Gorda Basketball Court and Roof Project is well on its way to completion. The foundation works and erection of the superstructure is complete. Works on the basketball court slab are scheduled for completion on or before 31st March 2015.
Madame Speaker, orders were placed for automatic roof mounted basketball arms and backstop, scoreboards and bleachers. Details and samples are being finalized for purchase and installation of an exterior court surface. It is estimated that all works will be completed by 15th May, 2015 inclusive of all installations which must be completed by manufacturers.
Additional works will be required to clean up the entire facility, especially the areas surrounding the existing court and the restroom facilities. Madame Speaker, this is expected to be completed for a proposed opening by 30th May 2015 and I trust that all my colleagues here in the House will come to support us at this event.
After much consultation by the member for the fifth electoral district, it is evident that an upgraded facility with restrooms and a secured concession stand is necessary to provide a suitable social environment for the young people in Huntum’s Ghut.
The works at the Huntum’s Ghut Basketball Court, Madame Speaker, are scheduled to begin on April 6th, 2015. The Ministry is in the process of awarding contracts for execution of said works. Works will include the construction of a concession stand, seating (bleachers), tarris fill for the leveling of the ground, fencing of the perimeter, restroom (male and female) facilities, and resurfacing of the existing basketball court.
The Road Town Softball Field Madame Speaker, is where the traditional sport of softball has been played for decades among locals and visitors. Over the years very little have been done to maintain the structures and perimeter of the field. As recent as last year, the Ministry of Education and Culture in conjunction with the Ministry of Communications and Works purchased and erected six light structures to replace the deteriorated wooden poles that were deemed a danger to the public. Madame Speaker, further works on the Road Town Softball Field is scheduled to commence on March 23, 2015. The Ministry of Education and Culture is in the process of awarding contracts for execution of these works which will include the renovation of restrooms, installation of stadium seating (bleachers), installation of perimeter fencing, provision of padding for the backstop, painting of the facility, and renovation of the concession building as well as the construction of a Softball Association’s office.
Madame Speaker, with youth affairs and sports being two important aspects of the Ministry of Education and Culture’s portfolio, it is extremely important for us to provide and maintain safe and proper recreational facilities for our people. Three contracts have also been signed for remedial works to the existing basketball courts in Jost Van Dyke, North Sound, Virgin Gorda and Cane Garden Bay. These courts have been ignored for a very long time and we have heeded to the cries of the communities. Works will include resurfacing of courts, painting and marking, and provision of backboards and rims. Madame Speaker, works are scheduled to begin on 16th March, 2015. Madame Speaker it is our intention to improve the basketball facilities on six basketball courts territory wide this year.
Madame Speaker, as we complete the works, I use this opportunity to make a plea to all in the various communities and especially those who will use them to take care of the facilities. It is the responsibility of all of us to do so.
Thank you Madame Speaker.