Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 17, 2021 (SKNIS): The opening of the Lodge/Ottley’s Community Centre provides the potential for new opportunities and growth for the people of the area, says Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton.
Minister Hamilton was at the time speaking at the launch of the new community centre on February 16, 2021. He said to the residents of the Lodge and Ottley’s communities and all who will benefit from using the facility, that while the work is superb it is just the foundation of the overall scheme of community development in the area.
“What will truly make this structure incredible is what happens every day from today,” he said. “Whose live will be enhanced, is it the teacher or mentor who will save a child from going down the wrong road, bringing him or her here for some development or is it the child who is inclined to deviance, who has been rescued by someone in this community and who will, in the end, become a strong pillar in the society.”
As Minister with responsibility for Community Development, he said that he and his staff have committed themselves to a bottom-up, community-driven approach to community development.
“As such, when you from the community of Lodge and Ottley’s started whispering and saying that you have outgrown what was, that the community footprint in this area has improved so widely, we heard you,” he said. “Your responsive Team Unity Government after hearing that consulted with you further about finding a suitable location and we heeded your advice when you told us of the potential of flooding issues in this area and today, because of your advice to us, I feel very proud that this edifice here is built by technical persons and is designed to mitigate against natural hazards.”
Minister Hamilton noted that the building is a demonstration of the real partnership between the Government, the people of Lodge and Ottley’s, and most importantly the Government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan). The $3.2 million facility was funded jointly by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan).
“The Government and people of Taiwan have for forty years, shared our vision of building resilient communities and they have partnered with us in developing every facet of our communities,” he said.
Minister Hamilton thanked John Boy Construction, led by its General Manager, Mr. Dwight Berry.
“They have put in so much to construct this magnificent building,” he said. “They have ensured that the building is structurally sound, that it can withstand hurricanes of recent vintage and other natural disasters. They have ensured that this centre is aesthetically pleasing. It is a true testament to the skills sets that we have right here in our small Federation.”
The community centre features office space, recreational rooms that can facilitate after school programmes and community activities, a library, a laundry room, a kitchen area, bathrooms, and facilities to accommodate the differently-abled.