Park work back on

Work has continued on the George Town Growing Communities Park, which was nearing completion when Hurricane Ivan struck.

A collaborative effort between the Dart Foundation and the Cayman Islands Government, the park is on the seashore about a quarter of a mile north of Smith’s Cove.

When it is completed, it will become the fourth of the five Growing Communities district parks, with only the Bodden Town park yet to come.

The Scholar’s Park in West Bay opened in 2001, the Captain George Dixon Park in East End opened in September 2003, and the Jarold Smith Park in North Side opened in November 2003.

No name has been chosen for the George Town park, Minister of Community Services Frank McField said, adding that he expects the park to be completed and opened sometime in April.

John Papesh, vice president of marketing and public affairs for Dart Management, said the Growing Community parks were not damaged too badly during Hurricane Ivan.

‘The physical structures and the hard landscaping made out fairly well at all of the parks,’ he said, noting the East End park did sustain significant damage to the plant life.

Sandy Urquhart, general manager of the West Indian Nursery, who is overseeing the landscape design of the park, said the East End park had 10 feet of sand in it at places.

Mr. Urquhart said he assessed the damage at each of the parks immediately after the storm passed. Remedial work was done to save what plants could be saved.

With other more pressing issues at hand in the hurricane recovery process, little work was done at first toward completing the George Town park. By mid-December, however, Mr. Urquhart said the park was back to its pre-Ivan state, and remodeling work on the two buildings on the property began.

Those buildings will become essential parts of the park, Mr. McField said recently.

‘The one closest to the sea will be a recreational building for receptions, exhibitions and the like, to be used by the community,’ he said.

The use of the second building is still uncertain. One usage under consideration is a banquet facility.

Mr. McField said he had considered making the second building a ministerial house for visiting dignitaries. ‘But I decided it would be better to have something that supports the park and community.’

Other features of the George Town Park will be an oceanfront amphitheatre, a children’s playground, and a monument created by a local artist.

Comments are closed.