Residents of Blades Hill, St. Philip, and surrounding districts, will soon have a new multipurpose centre to call their own.

Work on the St. Mark???s Community Centre commenced this morning with a groundbreaking ceremony at the site which once housed the St. Mark???s Boys??? Senior School. The $1.8 million project, which is being undertaken by the Community Development Department, is expected to be completed by December this year.

Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, has deemed the establishment of the Centre as ???a major milestone in the life of the community at St. Mark???s???.

???For some time now [we have] been seeking to improve facilities here at Blades Hill for community activity??? This community at Blades Hill stood out for decades as one of the most vibrant communities in the island??? The activities here have always been outstanding, according to reports, and the existence and impact of the St. Mark???s Co-operative Credit Union is one very clear testimony of this,??? Mr. Blackett pointed out.

He stated that while the old school building had fallen into disrepair during the time when it housed a community centre, the need to preserve the historic structure, and the demand for a home for the various community-based activities was recognised.

On completion, the Community Centre will facilitate small cultural performances; community meetings; training in a range of areas, including the CDD???s Community Technology Programme; and will be accessible to persons with disabilities. There will also be office facilities for the St. Mark???s Credit Union and the St. Philip North Constituency Council, and a free wireless hot spot.

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