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(PRESS RELEASE) – With the designs for the Blanchard Community Center in Micoud now complete, the project is on the near horizon under the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP).
Constructed in 1998, the building, which once served as an active community centre, was abandoned due, in the main, to management issues. The situation was further compounded due to the passage of Hurricane Tomas in 2010.
With a growing youthful population, Blanchard residents have been calling for the refurbishment of the building, which will be rehabilitated and reopened to serve as a human resource development centre.
In keeping with the mandate of the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project, DVRP, climate resilient features, such as strengthened roofing and a rainwater harvesting and storage system, will be the hallmark of the facility which will double as an emergency shelter, particularly in light of the enhanced natural hazard risk from climate change.
The Community Center will feature an Information Technology (IT) center, a conference room, office spaces, a music room, demonstration kitchen, cafeteria, events hall with a new stage and expanded balcony, improved circulation flows for emergency purposes and a wheelchair access ramp serving all floors.
The Community Center design consultant Lester Arnold emphasized that “the facility will be greened to make it more sustainable and will provide adequate access for physically challenged persons.”
Given the building’s historic management challenges, emphasis will be placed on the establishment of a Stakeholder Management Committee. A key mandate for the Committee will be to ensure that maintenance of the building does not rely on funds from Government.
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