Lake I Resource Center nears completion Print E-mail
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Thursday, 17 May 2018 00:00

After a groundbreaking at the Lake Independence Resource Center in April 2016, progress on the construction has been slow. The center is a part of the Youth and Community Transformation Project, which exists to reduce the vulnerability of children and youth to crime and gang membership in the Collet, Lake Independence, Pickstock, and Port Loyola divisions of Belize City. It is being built under the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation, and Poverty Alleviation.

The plan was for the $4.6 million center was to be built over a span of 18 months, starting in April 2016, on the Lake Independence Boulevard/ Chetumal Street Extension but has been slow in coming. According to Judith Alpuche, CEO, Ministry of Human Development, the construction of the center is financed through an “ex-ante” loan from the Caribbean Development Bank meaning that each case of expenditure has to be approved by the CDB. There are many approvals to be made by the ministries of Works, Finance, and all other relevant ministries which essentially create a lot of paper work.

Besides the stack of paper work, there has been an issue of whether or not to hire a new contractor but, according to CEO Alpuche, it was decided that the most cost effective and practical option would be to complete the process with the current contractor.

Once completed, the center will be a 21,000 sq. ft. single story structure, constructed primarily of reinforced concrete. It will include training rooms for the delivery of a variety of programs ranging from pre-literacy to after school literacy, adaptive life skills programs, arts and cultural programs, and indoor multipurpose sports programs.

Alpuche says that all of this is expected to be done within the next 3 months.