After a period of inactivity, work on the redevelopment of Southern Recreation Grounds (SRG) is set to recommence this month, according to Samita Ferguson, executive manager of the Office of the Prime Minister’s Over-the-Hill Unit (OTHU).
She also said that its redevelopment would come with Wi-Fi access through BTC at a later point in time.
Last May, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said that progress on Southern Recreation Grounds was “more than three quarters of the way completed” as the Over-the-Hill rejuvenation program – which aims to usher in a rebirth of the values, beauty and economic viability of the area – was underway.
However, Ferguson told The Nassau Guardian in a recent interview that there had been a setback due to “technical matters”.
“Of course, you know Southern Recreation Grounds has been one of the main areas and it has been a little lull going on due to technical matters,” Ferguson said.
“However, that has been resolved and their work would be noted or seen around Southern Recreation Grounds…within this month to come.
“So, we’re really hoping to spring forth in spring with the display of Southern Recreation Grounds.
“The whole beauty of it is, you know, part of our initiative is greener space, cleaner space [and] wholesome, positive activities to transpire within these parks.”
However, she noted that Wi-Fi access is being tested on a few other parks before it can be installed at SRG.
“But we have started commencing work on some of the smaller parks and the reason for this is, a part of the beauty that will transpire out of this would be our Wi-Fi, these parks being outfitted with Wi-Fi,” she said.
She added, “We have two parks that were recently, I think it was sometime last year, I’m not sure, they would be our pilot.
“We have to make sure it works, we have to work on the landing page, et cetera. The approval has already been made, we’re just waiting on the equipment for installation because it’s working in conjunction with BTC.
“But they would be the first to roll out, along with four other smaller parks, and then, of course, by then, SRG would most likely be finished and we’d know that it works, we’d know what needs to be tweaked, et cetera.
“And, of course, there would be monitoring of it.”
While an estimated completion time could not be provided, Ferguson noted that the challenge of rejuvenating Over-the-Hill is an “aged” concern, and highlighted that the kind of transformation government is trying to implement takes time.
“I think that in order for there to be some sustainability, you have to work,” she said.
“If we’re talking about a paradigm shift, it’s not going to happen overnight. It is going to take time, I mean, when you’re really thinking about transforming an area.”
She added, “I always say that Rome was not built in a day.”