The St. Paul’s Community Centre was constructed and officially opened in 1983 as a multipurpose centre for the St Paul’s community and its environs, with the objective of developing and showcasing of education, sports and culture. The design intent consisted of four main components namely a conference hall, games room, library and a courtyard. Even though it was opened some 31 years ago the complete development and full benefits of the facility has never been realised.
With the effects of natural wear and tear and in some case vandalism, the facility had deteriorated considerably rendering parts of it unsuitable to be used as per the design intent while in some cases unsafe to be used as a public facility where people are expected to congregate.
Inefficiencies of the St. Paul’s Community Centre before the intervention of the SPSDCO: (list all inefficiencies in point form here with a little explanation)
1. Management Committee which existed since 1983 had in effect lost its ability to objectively oversee the facility and to objectively operate it in any form.
2. The lack of effective operation and maintenance of the facility over the years also contributed to it being unsuitable for its intended use as per the design. The facility was allowed to deteriorate without any plans in place for its rehabilitation or upgrade and lacked adequate maintenance to properly upkeep a facility of this nature.
Also, there was a major departure in usage thereby significantly reducing any possibility of achieving the desired outcome that was envisaged at the time of its construction. The courtyard was used for everything besides sports, which contributed to its deterioration. It was used as a show ground with permanent structures for a stage and a bar, as a pan yard, as a car park and at times even a garage, thereby denying persons in the community to develop their sporting talents in basketball, netball etc.
After almost 30 years the library was never opened and was used as a storeroom, while the kitchen area had deteriorated to the point that termites and rats had found it a suitable place of refuge.
A Quest to save the St. Paul’s Community Center
Rehabilitation Project by the SPSCDO
Recognizing the urgent need for an adequately functioning multipurpose facility within the community, and the benefits that can be derived from it, in 2009 the St. Paul’s Sports, Cultural & Development Organisation (a non-profit organisation) took the initiative to pursue a path to its complete rehabilitation.
The objective of the rehabilitation project was to rehabilitate the conference hall and washroom facilities, resurface the courtyard and strengthen the retaining wall, fence the compound, construct a playground, rehabilitate the kitchen and develop the library.
SPSCDO believed that with the rehabilitation of the facility, it will support its mandate to initiate, organise, execute and participate in sporting, cultural, educational and social activities for the development of members of St. Paul’s and its environs
1. Funding has been received in the amount of $304, 232.80 from the Government of The People’s Republic of China, the Australian High Commission (through its Direct Aid Programme), and the then Parliamentary Representatives from St George North East and St George South East.
The funds have been used for rehabilitation of the conference hall and washrooms, resurfacing of the courtyard and strengthening of the retaining wall, fencing of the compound and development of a playground.
The project commenced in March 2010 and was completed in October 2012.
2. Rehabilitation of Library & Kitchen
In addition to the earlier works that were completed, approval has been granted by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government of Grenada, through the Basic Needs Trust Fund Programme, for an amount of $71,000.00 for the rehabilitation of the kitchen and development of the computer/resource centre. The project is at an advance stage.
Rehabilitation Conference Hall
3. Operation & Maintenance
In order to ensure that the desired outcome of the rehabilitation project is realised, an Operation and Maintenance Guidelines for the facility has been developed with the aim of ensuring that the facility is operated with equity and that quality is maintained.
The guidelines seek to ensure that there is a structured plan for maintenance and there is as wide as possible representation from groups from within the community. To support this plan, an interim management committee has been elected from representation from the St Paul’s Government School, the St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Rosary Parish Roman Catholic Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church, The Peoples Church and St Paul’s Sports, Cultural and Development Organization and Commancheros.
The expected outcomes of this much improved facility, some already evident in the following photos; are as follows:
(i) A raise the level of all the sporting discipline from within the community in particular basketball, netball, volley ball and table tennis thereby returning the community to a powerhouse in several disciplines.
ii) The development of existing and the unearthing of talents in the area of performing art and other cultural disciplines.
iii) Improved literacy level for the less fortunate from within the community, especially the students of the St Paul’s Government who have limited exposure to computers.
iv) Increase level of awareness of community members in areas of public interest (disaster risk management, primary health care, money management etc.) through panel discussions and other learning activities.
v) Reduction in the consumption of alcohol within the community, thereby addressing concerns raised following the World Health Organisation (WHO) status report on alcohol and health for 2014.
vi) Improved life skills in areas that will equip community members with skills to support their livelihood.
vii) Overall improvement in health and well-being of community members.
Beneficies of the Center
Schools – St. Paul’s Government School, St. Paul’s Anglican Pre School
(The above was submitted by the St. Paul’s Sports, Cultural and Development Organisation)