Renovations to the Pine Peace basketball court, above, continue to progress.
About $4,500 is needed to purchase playground equipment, above.
Renovations to Love City’s sole basketball court in Estate Pine Peace are in full swing and community members are hoping to raise the final funds needed to purchase equipment for the project.
Thanks to a $386,000 government allocation, the often-flooded basketball court is being remodeled with improved drainage, new lighting, covered bleachers to accommodate almost 100 people, updated bathrooms and a scoreboard.
While the government funds were appreciated, most of the money was needed by contractor Stone Mason Construction to cover the extensive irrigation issues. So community activists Alice Krall and Nedra Ephraim launched a fundraising campaign to help cover the cost of the bleachers, covers for the bleachers and the scoreboard.
So far the two have raised $42,000 from community donations, but they still need an additional $4,500 in order to purchase playground equipment.
“We’re down to our final push in our fundraising for the basketball court amenities,” said Krall.
Krall and Ephraim ordered most of the equipment, which is being sent to Miami, last week. Once in Miami, the equipment will be shipped in a container to the Virgin Islands and Krall hopes to get the playground equipment to Miami in time, she explained.
“We need $4,500 more and we’re really hoping to get everything shipped from Miami at the same time,” Krall said. “We really want everything to come together.”
The shipping company will store materials for 30 days, so Krall is hoping to have the equipment shipped from Miami to the territory by the first week of July, she added.
“We want to have it all in one shipment and we want to add the playground equipment to that shipment,” she said.
Once complete, the new and improved basketball court at Pine Peace will be a top-notch facility, according to Krall.
“The government is doing a fantastic job on this project,” she said. “They are really going out of their way to give us a first class facility. Department of Public Works and Stone Mason are working really hard to make this a great facility for the island.”
The new court will have proper drainage, brand new 98-seat covered bleachers, lighting for night play, renovated bathrooms and a new scoreboard. The new nets will be extendable, allowing students of all ages to enjoy the court. The area will be finished with new landscaping and grass, Krall explained.
“The government wants to make our court a model for the territory because this is a public and private partnership and we’ve gotten so much community support,” she said.
Support for the Pine Peace basketball court has come from Scotiabank, which paid for the scoreboard, Rotary Club of St. John, Tim Duncan’s Community Education Initiative, the Claflins, B.J. Harris, Woody’s Seafood Saloon, St. John Accommodations Council, Teri Gibney, St. John Hardware, the Kanebs, Helen Simon, the Bitners, Innovative and Fred Trayser, who is donating services to install the bleachers, according to Krall.
There have also been several anonymous donors, Krall added.
The Pine Peace basketball court fundraiser is being overseen fiscally by St. John Community Foundation, at no cost, Krall explained.
Tax deductible donations can be made through SJCF, a 501(c)3 organization, for the playground equipment. If more than $4,5000 is raised, Krall hoped to be able to purchase picnic tables and covers for the area, she added.
The project should be complete by the beginning of the next school year and government officials have promised a big grand opening for the new facility.