Community Focus: Blenheim community centre in ruins
Despite millions of dollars being allocated for its repairs over the years, the community centre in Blenheim, Hanover, has been in a state of neglect over the past 17 years, robbing residents of recreation and potential self-improvement.
As recent as February of this year, Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie announced that work would be done to give the facility a much-needed facelift, creating the scope for its use as a training facility for residents. However, based on what was observed when the WESTERN STAR visited the community recently, the centre, which is located next to the community playing field at the bottom of a grassy slope, remains a desolate structure.
Aston Buchanan, who has been the facility's caretaker since 2000, is unhappy with the damage and neglect the building has suffered over the years but he is powerless to do anything about it.
"It is just here locked up and because of that people come and vandalise the place,” said Buchanan. "They should grille the front of the place. Because it is not grilled persons come and mash it up."
Ann-Marie Moodie, another resident of Blenheim, said the community centre still has potential to serve as a skills training facility and she desperately wants to see it properly repaired and put to productive use.
"The other day some ladies said they wanted to start something at the centre officially, teaching persons how to sew and so forth, and our church put on a fun-day down there, and it was a disgrace because the toilets were mashed up," said Moodie.
"We would want it to be a training centre. If we had some help at the centre, that would be great, but the centre needs to be up and running because they are spending so much money on it," said Moodie.