Cayo Welcome Center and San Ignacio town center rehabilitation
The Cayo Welcome Center's ultimate look is really majestic. Downtown's facelift will be great for everyone, and it will be safer too.
The project Site for the new Cayo Welcome Center was chosen as a core area within the community with good pedestrian and vehicular links to the surrounding town and beyond. Already in use as a public park this prominent location is currently under utilized and has a lot of potential for future development. Positioned between Burns Avenue and the New Market area, if dealt with properly the site is ideally situated to help ease congestion and restore vitality to the historic town center. Parts of Burns Avenue will also be include within the scope of the project as the section from the junction with savannah street down to St. Andrew’s Anglican Church will be renovated in conjunction with the work to Coronation Park. Work will be done to Upper burns Avenue at a later stage.
Current criticisms of the existing park center largely on its lack of safety at night, due to the inadequate lighting and security, and a lack of comfortable shaded seating areas during the day. Surrounding the green space are large expanses of dilapidated hardscape with poor drainage and no clear division between pedestrian and vehicular spaces.
The objective of this project is to design a Welcome Center and supporting facilities where visitors can engage with the cultural heritage of San Ignacio and the Cayo region, as well as providing strong vehicular and pedestrian links through the site to surrounding areas so as to help knit the town together and ease congestion.
The Welcome Center will display cultural information and act as a tourist information point, orientating visitors and providing information on lodging, places to eat and other local tourist destinations. It will be one of the towns focal buildings, built in a Modern/Colonial style in keeping with the rest of the town’s urban fabric. In addition to the tourist information and cultural displays the building will also incorporate two anchor tenants. Planned provisionally as a bar/restaurant and an internet café/coffee and pastry shop, these businesses are designed to extend the use of the building into the evening and provide an extra source of income for the project.
The surrounding park space will consist of; increased green space, an open air venue, amenity fountain and four food stalls, all designed to bring more visitors into the park. Improvements in safety will be made through good urban design and the provision of sufficient lighting so that the space functions well at both day and night. As well as being a tourist attraction the project as a whole is intended to provide additional local leisure and recreational facilities and act as a catalyst for future town beatification and the promotion of civic pride.
The plaza in front of the open air venue is designed to be able to accommodate sufficient removable seating for concerts and performances but can also be cleared to an open space that is very flexible in its uses. A wooden trellis provides shade around the plazas perimeter and the amenity fountain is recessed below grates in the plaza hard scape. It is designed to be operated at a couple of key times during the day and evening to draw people into the park.
With the exception of a new parking lot and taxi rank, traffic ingress into the site is limited to a new road along the West side of the park, the entrance to which is accommodated by the removal of the San Ignacio Cultural Center. This road forms part of a new bus route allowing buses to pick up and drop off along the side of the park, thus creating a new first impression of San Ignacio for those travelling by bus and allowing visitors to quickly orientate themselves at the welcome center. The new route also allows all East bound buses to double back along Savannah street rather than having to travel along Burns Avenue keeping heavy traffic off that road.
The connection between the park and Burns Avenue will be strengthened and the street improvements to Burns Avenue will happen in two phases. Renovations to the section from the junction with Savannah Street down to St. Andrew’s Anglican Church will be constructed in conjunction with the Welcome Center and park. The work will include reducing the traffic down to one lane and changing the road surface in order to slow traffic movement through the area. No trucks and buses will be able to pass down this section of street and there is a possibility of making it only for pedestrians at certain times of the day. The pavements will be significantly wider than they were previously with space for street cafes as well as additional planter boxes and street furniture.
Upper Burns Avenue, the section from Scotia bank to the junction, will be treated in a similar way but with double parking bays set into the East side pavement. The work for this section will be started at a later date.
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Cayo Welcome Center Nearing Completion
The Cayo Welcome Center is really close to being finished. All the buildings have their walls and roofs completed. They've finishing the bus entry, which will be right across from the market. Is that a toucan statue?