Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Monday, 13 November 2017 09:33

Spanish firm unveils renovated Old Harbour Bay community centre

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Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica Josep Maria Bosch Bessa (left) greets Reverend Sandra Nembhard (right) of the Old Harbour Bay Development Team during the grand opening of the Blackwood Gardens Community Centre in Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine on Saturday, November 4. Looking on is HEART Trust National Training Agency (NTA) Industry Liaison Officer Jodi-Ann Shaw. Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica Josep Maria Bosch Bessa (left) greets Reverend Sandra Nembhard (right) of the Old Harbour Bay Development Team during the grand opening of the Blackwood Gardens Community Centre in Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine on Saturday, November 4. Looking on is HEART Trust National Training Agency (NTA) Industry Liaison Officer Jodi-Ann Shaw. Photo: Contributed

The TSK Group, an engineer, procurement and construction firm from Spain, said it invested US$130,000 in refurbishing the community centre in Blackwood Gardens, Old Harbour Bay.

The community centre, built in the 1970s, had fallen into disrepair following the passages of hurricanes Gilbert in 1988, Ivan in 2004 and Dean in 2007.

More than 200 volunteers from the community contributed to the five-month project, while in excess of 90 per cent of the skilled labour utilized was drawn from the area.

Several community members were present at the remodeled blue and gold facility to witness its official unveiling, which included Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica Josep Maria Bosch Bessa, TSK Group’s executives, members from the JPS hierarchy among other important community stakeholders. The grand reopening took place on November 4, 2017.

The facility is expected to serve approximately 3,000 youth living in the community through numerous skilled training via the HEART-NTA vocational certificate programme.

TSK Group’s projects manager in charge of operations in Jamaica Ruben Dario Romero said: “It’s a great day because this place [the community centre] became a reality…thanks to CDA, all the members of the community, Rev. Sandra Nembhard, TSK, JPS and so many others, because all these people that I mentioned right now, to be honest, they never gave up. And this is one of the most important things in life. You never give up if you want to make the dream possible.”

JPSCo’s senior vice-president of generation Joseph Williams commended the Spanish company, stating their work in the community will form part of future considerations.

“Any company that JPS works with, we encourage them to really participate in the community; but I must say TSK went way beyond what would normally be done, so we are very pleased with TSK,” Williams said. “I am also very impressed with the employment they have provided for this area. I am very sure that for future projects of this nature that JPS will be considering TSK based on their performance to date.”

Residents are expected to enjoy an array of benefits associated with the renovated facility which has been expanded by an additional 160 square-feet.

“The community centre will be able to facilitate more training in areas of welding, plumbing, drapery making, CXC classes and for community functions for meetings and engagements.

“Currently there are ongoing programmes for housekeeping, commercial food preparation and construction classes,” said Rev. Nembhard, one of the main crusaders of the project.

The partnership between TSK and the Old Harbour Bay community began earlier this year when South Jamaica Power Company (SJPC) – a JPSCo subsidiary – signed a contract with TSK for the construction of the 190 megawatt power plant in Old Harbour Bay, St. Catherine.

This power plant is expected to be in full operation by late 2019.

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