Wed | Oct 4, 2023

Scrimmage multipurpose sports complex coming to Jarrett Park Guild Club lands

Published:Tuesday | September 19, 2023 | 12:07 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Heroy Clarke (centre) member of parliament, St James Central.
Heroy Clarke (centre) member of parliament, St James Central.


St James Central Member of Parliament (MP), Heroy Clarke, says constituents and other parish residents will soon be able to access a new sports and recreational complex on the Jarrett Park Guild Club lands.

In an interview with The Gleaner, Clarke explained that the facility is intended to help prevent sexual crimes and robberies on the overgrown prime real estate property by keeping youth engaged in sports.

“The plan is to create a scrimmage football field, a multipurpose court, and a pocket park, where we will have an exercise jogging trail where the older citizens can do their evening walks,” Clarke said.

He stated that his vision of building out a new sports and recreation park has come at the behest of the young people in the constituency who are seeking positive avenues to release built-up stress.

“They have been complaining to me that they want to release some of the stress of society, but they are unable to because the streets in these innercity communities around the park are too small,” Clarke pointed out.


He noted that the proposed project will be funded in part from his annual allocation of $4 million, which he received for urban renewal development projects in the constituency, and that a floor plan is now being prepared by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development and the Urban Renewal Development Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Jarrett Park Guild Club Trust was established to ensure sporting facilities were provided for the people of St James with the construction of the Jarrett Park Sports Complex and the Montego Bay Cricket Club. However, approximately five acres of that property remain undeveloped.

According to Clarke, a first-term government MP, all the trustees are dead, and the land in question is now vested in the Leeroy Williams-chaired St James Municipal Corporation to advance additional development for sports.

“The land has been sitting there undeveloped since then, and miscreants in society have been using it for different reasons,” Clarke said.

Approximately three weeks ago, the St James Police arrested and charged 25-year-old Ronaldo Ricketts, of Westgate Hills in the parish, for the abduction and attempted rape of a woman in the vicinity of the Jarrett Park Guild Club lands on Corinaldi Avenue.

He was also slapped with four counts of murder after police investigators suspected him to be the mastermind behind the deaths of seven homeless people in Montego Bay, where he attacked and killed them while they slept, between July 28 and August 20 this year.

“I have been getting a lot of those reports, even in the daytime, more so at night,” the MP said of the sexual crimes and robberies that are taking place in the space where its vegetation has overgrown.

According to Clarke, the undeveloped property has long been used as a shelter for illegal activities and a dumping ground.

“People have been using it as a dumping ground; it has been used for garages and other small business operations,” he said.