BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, February 16, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Persons residing in the Lodge and Ottley’s areas now have a new place to socialize and engage in constructive community-based activities with the opening of the new Lodge/Ottley’s Multipurpose Community Center.
The center was officially opened today, Tuesday, February 16, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister and Parliamentary Representative, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, as well as his Cabinet colleagues the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, the Honourable Jonel Powell and the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett. Also, in attendance were Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), His Excellence Tom Lee, and residents of the Lodge and Ottley’s communities.
The multi-million dollar facility was funded jointly by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan), and features office space, recreational rooms that can facilitate after school programmes and community activities, a library, a laundry room, kitchen area, bathrooms, and facilities to accommodate the differently-abled.
Prime Minister Harris, while delivering the featured remarks at the opening ceremony, stated that the new center is a much needed improvement to the old dilapidated facility that once functioned as the area’s community center.
“The old community centre at Lodge Project was not fit for purpose. It was not what your community deserved. It was not what our community expected. Some of course have said recently that the old Centre showed how the previous government neglected this area. The former Government deliberately refused to renovate the old Community Centre. Today we move beyond the victimization and neglect of the past to the delivery of this modern first class edifice that will be part of the stronger and safer future,” Prime Minister Harris said.
The honourable prime minister noted that the new center can also serve as the new home for the annual Constituency Seven Domino League.
Dr. Harris said, “What a functional multipurpose centre this is. It provides large indoor spaces for community use and an onsite parking area which can also be utilized for outdoor activities. At the old Centre there was no parking space available. Whenever events were being held, the roads were congested and almost impassable. We, who participate in the Constituency 7 Domino League year after year, know that the League had outgrown the area. This Centre is so large that all 14 teams in our league can comfortably play here next year.”
The new center comes equipped with free, full-time wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) access, as part of The Cable Company ‘Community Centre Wi-Fi Initiative’ – an initiative that was lauded by Prime Minister Harris.
He said, “Digital connection is also so critical these days, as I think we all learnt during the COVID-19 crisis. That is why this new centre includes free Wi-Fi connection. It means that Lodge/Ottley’s Community will always be connected with our island, and also with the region and the rest of the world. This is one of the first community centers to be outfitted with Wi-Fi thanks to the good heart and progressive mind of Patricia Walters, CEO of The Cable. I want to applaud her good corporate responsibility. Making Wi-Fi publicly available fits well into our plans for the digitalization of St. Kitts and Nevis, making more, if not all of our citizens and residents nimble with ICTs, the driver of the modern economy. Our children at our residences with no Wi-Fi in their homes now have access to broadband access right here.”
The multipurpose Lodge/Ottley’s Community Center was built by John Boy Construction, led by its General Manager, Mr. Dwight Berry.