|Architectural drawing of proposed park
The San Pedro Town
Council, in conjunction with Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr. held
a meeting with the business community of San Pedro last week to introduce
plans for the renovation of Central Park. Mayoress Elsa Paz and the Area
Representative are jointly promoting this project to enhance the beauty
of the island's main park. During the meeting, Mayoress Paz mentioned
that reconstruction of the park would attract additional tourists to our
island and the attending businesspeople agreed.
According to the information presented, the plans are
for the existing park to be demolished and rebuilt into a more
aesthetically pleasing facility. The plans for the new park cover an area
from beachfront at Atlantic Bank to the north side of the San Pedro Roman
Catholic Church. It will stretch from the sea, west to Barrier Reef Drive
and will also include part of Ambergris Street. The plans would
permanently block a portion of Barrier Reef Drive to all vehicular
traffic. Also planned is the relocation of park vendor booths and taxis
to the Old Football Field, an area that would be used for municipal
parking as well.
Pictures of the plans presented show that the entire
ground area of the park will be paved with cobble stone bricks. Park
benches, lights, water fountains, trees and plants, etc., will be placed
strategically in and around the park which will beautify the town
tremendously. At the south side of the park, a larger, state-of-the-art
stage will be built. On the beachfront side, opposite Ambergris Street, a
lighthouse will be constructed in order to guide incoming boats from
beyond the reef. The current municipal pier will be transformed into a
water taxi terminal. As stated in previous meetings, the barges that now
dock and unload construction supplies there, will be relocated to the
industrial pier presently under construction at the back of the island,
and scheduled to open this month.
The estimated cost of the newly renovated Central Park
is said to be close to $2 million. Aside from San Pedro Town Council
funds, large monetary donations from the business community of San Pedro
are being solicited to cover a portion of the total cost. The San Pedro
Town Council and Area Representative have approached
the Minister of
Finance, Honorable Ralph Fonseca who supports the idea that the San Pedro
Town Council apply for funding from an international bank for the park.
The architect for the project is Edwardo
Ortiz of Cancun, Mexico. Ideas for this project came from the visual aids
used in planning similar parks in Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, Mexico.
The plans for Central Park will be presented to the public within two
weeks at a special meeting. If the proposed plans are approved at this
consultation, the project is expected to commence in January of 2004. The
duration of the entire renovation is expected to take one year.