$14 million down the drain! ...Bournemouth Bath needs renovating again
Bournemouth Bath, situated at Ocean View Avenue in Bournemouth Gardens, eastern Kingston, underwent major repairs to its infrastructure, including renovation of the building and pools on which millions was spent to enhance Jamaica's swimming talents.
Focus was placed on, though not limited to, the youth from the various communities in east Kingston. Today, the facilities are dilapidated and have become a common place for vandals. A grand refurbishing exercise was completed in 2009 after the Kingston Rotary Club led other sponsors, raising well-needed funds to offset the project.
THE WEEKEND STAR gathered that approximately $14 million was raised over a three-year period. According to reports, Steve Evans, under whose administration the project was envisaged, said the pools cost $7 million to renovate as they had been unused for many years. Yesterday, when our news team contacted the office of the rotary club, administrative personnel Sandra Dennis told THE WEEKEND STAR that executive members were not on hand because they were at work.
ROTARY CLUB CONTRIBUTION
Dennis, who has been at the club for almost a decade, however, told our news team that she was aware that the Rotary Club had made a contribution many years ago and that the project was completed by the then president. "Once we do a project, we hand it over. It would not be our responsibility. At the end of the year, another president takes office and does other projects. The Rotary Club doesn't get involved in the day-to-day handling of projects. The club paid the utilities for a few months after it was handed over. It's really a shame if our clubs do projects, have them in good standing, and then they are allowed to run down," Dennis said.
Our news team gathered that the facility was handed over to the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) and SwimJamaica (Jamaica's Learn to Swim Programme). Member of Parliament for the constituency Phillip Paulwell acknowledged that the Bournemouth Bath was in a deplorable condition and told our news team that the KSAC was negotiating a possible investor to have the facility up and running once more.
Paulwell said: "Details are being sorted out for the investor to take it over and re-establish the operations to include a restaurant." When contacted, Mayor of Kingston Angella Brown-Burke did not enter into a discussion surrounding a possible investor. Instead, she told THE WEEKEND STAR that she would have to pull the file on the facility so that she could comment sensibly on the subject.