BT Centre Reopens Doors
Published 19th June 2008, 11:47am
Hundreds of Bodden Town residents came out to witness the re-opening of their district's civic centre this week (Tuesday 17 June). The James Manoah Bodden Civic Centre is a vital community facility that offers residents of this fast-growing district, a safe and secure recreational environment.
Located near to the district's police station, clinic and playing field, the building also serves as a symbol of the resilience and spirit of recovery - especially post-Ivan.
In his remarks, Leader of Government Business the Hon Kurt Tibbetts referred to the storm and noted, '[It is a] relief that this centre will again be a vital part of community life,' and added, "It took us a while, but we're here... thank God! Mr Jim (Bodden) and Mr Haig (Bodden) would have been proud!"
The opening ceremony was especially meaningful to the district's elected representatives - the Hon. Anthony Eden OBE; the Hon Charles Clifford, and Mr Osbourne Bodden. They led area residents in celebrating the event and honouring the namesake.
Mr Eden also led a moment of silence in honour of Bodden Town's long-serving political duo - the late Jim and Haig Bodden. He read a tribute to Cayman's first National Hero, whom he referred to as "A visionary who ushered the Cayman Islands into a new era." He then presented Mr Jim's daughter, Mary Trumbach, with a commemorative gift.
Also in attendance were other officials, including His Excellency Governor Stuart Jack CVO and Mrs Mariko Jack; Leader of Government Business the Hon Kurt Tibbetts; Chief Secretary the Hon George McCarthy OBE; Attorney General the Hon Sam Bulgin; MLA Lucille Seymour BEM; and Permanent Secretaries of the various Ministries.
The building was completed on-schedule and on-budget - some $1.3million. The second floor is a 4,500 square-foot meeting area, complete with a full kitchen. There are also two features new to Cayman's civic centres - a laundry and an elevator.
The ground floor, which is still being outfitted, will house the Department of Vehicle and Drivers' Licensing services for the eastern districts, as well as offices of the Recreation, Parks and Cemeteries Unit.
The James Manoah Bodden Centre was severely damaged during Hurricane Ivan. Because of its proximity to the sea, it was decided that this location was unsuitable as a future shelter. The replacement building is a "Class B" shelter, and will now serve as a post-hurricane centre for the distribution of food and supplies.
Government officials commended the civil servants and the district's service-minded groups and individuals who were involved in the renovation project. Special mention went to area residents Harvey and Betty Stephenson who donated land to facilitate the building of the new emergency services centre.