Jamaica News: Renovation of the 106-year-old Ward Theatre in downtown Kingston, now under way, is slated for completion in 2019.
This was announced by Chairman of the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), which is jointly spearheading the project with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams.
He indicated that the work, which is about 80 per cent complete, is expected to be concluded in September 2019, adding that “I believe we will all be proud of the building [when] we have done the renovations”.
He was speaking during the recent launch of the Alpha Mercy Historical Centre project, located on the Alpha Campus at 26 South Camp Road, Kingston.
Senator Williams, who is also Kingston’s Mayor, said work carried out on the Theatre, to date, includes the installation of waterproof membrane on the roof; the fitting of countertops and basins in one restroom and four changing rooms; installation of drywall ceiling and sanitary fixtures; and wall repairs.
He contended that the historic building, which is a prominent feature in the downtown Kingston redevelopment plan, is a potential tourist attraction that can aid in transforming the nation’s capital into a “destination city” for visitors.
The Ward Theatre was presented as a gift to the city in 1912 by then Custos Rotulorum of Kingston, Colonel Charles Ward. The site it occupies in downtown Kingston has been in continuous use as a theatre since the 1770s.
Meanwhile, Senator Williams advised that the KSAMC is partnering with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) to restore the clock tower and war memorial in Cross Roads, St. Andrew.
He said the KSAMC is seeking funding for the undertaking, which will include renovating the edifice’s exterior and installing paving stones along the area around the tower.
The landmark was built to honour the memory of servicemen from Kingston and St. Andrew who fought and died in World War II.
Senator Williams argued that the project is significant, in light of the fact that Kingston has a rich history that “is not celebrated”.
“We do not see our history permeating our city and that is a problem. Part of instilling pride in our city and our country, and part of creating this destination city, which is part of the vision we have for Kingston, is that we have to [live] our history within our city,” the Mayor said.
Source: JIS News