Plans to renovate Central Park presented

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 36            October 2, 2003

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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.
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