Anthony Minott, Gleaner Writer
Hamilton Gardens' playing ground is the chosen site for the construction of a $7 million first-class cricket facility. This is the first time a ground in Portmore has been commissioned for a sporting development of such stature.
Last Sunday, stakeholders in cricket in Portmore and community leaders from the Gregory Park division participated in the groundbreaking ceremony.
Member of Parliament for East Central St Catherine, Arnaldo Brown, is one of the main persons behind this project, which is expected to be completed next year.
The New Zealand government has given CAN$20,000 or just about $2m as startup capital. However, depending on the scope of work, a further $5m will be needed to complete the facility.
Brown took the opportunity to thank the New Zealand government for the gift and also Dr Bridgette Barrett-Williams, of the New Zealand-based foundation, is coordinator of this project.
Even though Sunday was the groundbreaking ceremony, posts were already driven to fence the facility. Other developments include construction of a pitch and work on the outfield, as well as the erection of sight screens and scoreboards.
When completed, the facility will be fit to host first-class matches during the daytime. It is to be lit to facilitate night games.
Upbeat about the prospects
Also at the brief ceremony were Charles Simpson, vice-president of the Portmore Cricket Association (PCA), Lester 'Father Ken' Crooks, also of the PCA and businessman, Michelle Henry-Scott, PRO, of the Gregory Park Community Development Committee (CDC), Mary Royes-Henry, president of the Gregory Park CDC, and William White, coach/manager of Hamilton Gardens Cricket Club.
White was upbeat about the prospects of the ground and vowed to be the main man to oversee the upkeep of the facility when it's up and running.