Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has announced that the Blanchard Community Center in Micoud will be refurbished to “climate-resilient standards” and reopened as a human resource development centre as well as for emergency purposes.
Chastanet made the disclosure on his official Facebook page on Friday, Oct. 12.
He said bids have been submitted for the refurbishment of the community centre under the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP), following a recent site visit, and a contract for construction “should be awarded before the end of the year”.
“After a tour of the existing facility in August, a town-hall-styled meeting was held with contractors to clarify the bid preparation documents. The Community Center design consultant Lester Arnold explained to bidders that the facility ‘will be greened to make it more sustainable and provide adequate access for physically challenged persons,'” Chastanet said.
The building, constructed in 1998, was abandoned due mainly to “management issues” and “the situation was further compounded” after the passage of Hurricane Tomas in 2010, the prime minister said.
“With a growing youthful population, Blanchard residents have been calling for the refurbishment of the building, which will double up as an emergency centre. With funding under the DVRP, the building will be rehabilitated and reopened to serve as a human resource development centre,” Chastanet said.
Features of the centre
The prime minister also announced the “climate resilient features” that will come with the building such as strengthened roofing and a rainwater-harvesting and storage system which will be the “hallmark of the facility”.
The community center will also feature an information technology center, a meeting/conference room, office spaces, 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, Chastanet said.
A committee will be formed to oversee the management of the facility and to ensure its maintenance does not rely on government subsidy, Chastanet said.
“Given the building’s management challenges in the past, 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,” he said.