IDB funds Youth Information Centre for Hanover
THE Ministry of Youth and Culture, this week, signed a contract valued at approximately $40 million for the construction of a Youth Information Centre (YIC) in Hanover.
When completed, the centre, to be located at Watson Taylor Park in Lucea, will be the 11th built across the island to provide a space where young people can go to access information on issues affecting them, use the computers, complete their assignments, get training, or just to 'hang out' and be comfortable with their peers.
It will have office spaces, a cyber café, resource area, meeting rooms, a multi-purpose room, a stage for the performing arts, and an all-purpose court, among other amenities. The complex will be constructed by D R Foote Construction Company Limited, with the National Works Agency (NWA) managing the project.
Addressing the signing ceremony, Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna thanked the Inter-American Development Bank for providing the funds committed to the project.
She informed that, since the first YIC was developed in Portmore, St Catherine, in 2003, there has been a thrust to ensure that every parish is equipped with one so that young people will have a space to converge, access to information, and develop synergies.
The minister noted that the Hanover centre is an investment in the people of that parish. "It is a $40- million investment that the Government will be making in the people of Hanover, particularly the young people, and we want to say it is going to be a space that will redound to the best interest of not only Hanover, but also surrounding areas," Hanna said.
She pointed out that youth in rural Jamaica have particular needs, and even though they may have the same access to information, as everybody else, they sometimes lack the spaces to make their dreams come true.
"It is important for this Ministry to not leave anybody out," Ms Hanna said.
She urged the contractors to put their all into the project to ensure that it is done within the seven months to which they are committed.
Hanna and acting permanent secretary in the ministry, Sherril O'Reggio Angus signed on behalf of the government; Phillip Foote of D R Foote Construction Company Limited signed on behalf of the contractors, while state minister in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, and member of parliament for West Hanover, Ian Hayles, witnessed the signing.
In the meantime, project manager of the Youth Development Programme, Margery Newlands, informed that two other YICs under construction will be opened soon. The May Pen centre is expected to be opened next month, while the Spanish Town centre is scheduled to be opened soon thereafter.