AFTER three years, the $12 million Techier Community Centre in Point Fortin is finally complete. Housing Minister and former Point Fortin MP Edmund Dillon says the new facility is a result of his advocacy and the willingness of Minister of Social Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly.
The new building, located at Eastern Avenue in Techier Village, was officially opened on Friday morning. It replaces the old structure, which was utilised by the community since its inception in 1954.
The two-storey building features a kitchen, auditorium, audio-visual room, classroom and computer room, gym, change rooms, bathrooms, hot and cold water, two offices, elevators and air-conditioning throughout the building. Construction began in 2017 and Gadsby-Dolly said it cost a total of $12,493,037.20
She said, “I am sure when you look around, you feel very proud. And if you throw your mind on what existed before, you understand the investment.
“The opening of a community centre is always an opportunity for rejoicing because look at this beautiful centre that Techier has now been graced with. Each time we open a centre, it is the joy of the residents, excitement because of the potential of what it can bring.”
She said it was the 44th community centre opened during her tenure, adding that she noticed members of the Techier Village Council were filled with pride.
Dillon said he learnt many of his core, foundational skills from development programmes at community centres.
“The very first time I did any public speaking was part of Best Village at a community centre,” he said.
He joked, “And Best Village is a place where you learn to dance, so if you play a drum now, I can give you one or two moves.
“When I walked through (this building during) the completion phase, I can tell you I am truly impressed with what I am seeing today.”
He said in 2015, the Prime Minister told residents of Point Fortin it was “their time,” adding that Dr Rowley kept his word.
He urged the community to remember the facility should be able to be used by anyone who wishes to.
“There’s always a beef where the village council themselves turn things into ownership of facilities where a few people (feel they) own the facility and direct the terms and conditions. This belongs to the community of Techier, it doesn’t belong to any single individual. It’s where you come together as a people, talk, exchange ideas and programmes to the development of the village and by extension – Point Fortin.
He also urged residents to “exercise their franchise” by voting at the August 10 general election, and told them to “make the right choice.” He also thanked them for the opportunity to serve the area from 2015-2020.