LETTER – A centre for national culture and recreation

The real estate section of the Cayman Compass of Sept. 22 carried an advertisement of the sale of The Cayman Islander land, 5.67 acres, for US$16.385 million (“Land”). The Land is located on the east side of West Bay Road, just north of the site of the proposed Cayman HospiceCare building and just south of Pepper’s restaurant.

In my opinion, the Land should be acquired by the Cayman Islands Government as the site of a National Cultural and Recreation Centre (“Centre”). The Centre would link up with, by means of pedestrian walkways, the Harquail Theatre, the National Gallery and the various playing fields proposed by Dart on the western side of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.

The Land could be the site of a world-class outdoors aquatics facility. Cayman is the ideal site for such a facility at which our swimmers could not only train, but host swimmers from other countries for training and competition. Think of the prospect of U.S. colleges and those of other countries and national teams holding training sessions in Cayman during inclement weather up north.

Perhaps it is wishful thinking but, in addition to the Harquail Theatre, one can imagine a building which would serve as the permanent home for the national orchestra and choir.

The Centre would stretch from West Bay Road to the Esterley Tibbetts Highway and would consist of a series of walkways, gardens and a small lake linking buildings and facilities of national importance.

Cayman is already on the world stage for financial services; it is time that audacity and imagination carried Cayman to the world stage in culture and recreation.

Paul Simon

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