Announcement Regarding Reconstruction of Franklin Powell Sr. Park To Come Soon

Franklin Powell Sr. Park renovation rendering.

An announcement will be made in the next few weeks regarding the much-delayed reconstruction of the Franklin Powell Sr. Park in Cruz Bay, according to Department of Public Works Deputy Director Ira Wade.

The park rehabilitation, most recently scheduled to begin Jan. 1, has been delayed several times. Officials have remained tight-lipped on the reason for the most recent delay.

Atlantic Northstar Contractors
The contractors for the project, Best Construction, are also the contractors for Atlantic Northstar LLC’s 36-condominium project at parcel K, Estate Gift and Regenback.

Atlantic Northstar is selling its Virgin Islands properties and leaving the islands to pursue gambling interests in Asia, according to a source who did not want to be named.

The impact of the company’s move on the park project is unclear; however, work was set to begin in late November, according to Wade.

“We are prepared to start now; however, with all the things we’d like to do, we can’t get it done by Christmas time,” said Wade in a late-November interview with St. John Tradewinds.

St. John Administrator Julien Harley met with Best Construction on Friday, Feb. 10, said Wade.

“There was a short meeting on Friday, and there should be some announcement coming out soon,” he said. “We should be able to give an update on Friday, Feb. 24.”

At the meeting with Best Construction, final details were worked out, said Harley

“We just needed to sit down and get some stuff in writing and things like that,” he said. “They’re going to come back to me and give me a starting date some day soon.”

Waiting Too Long
Harley admitted his frustration with the delay of construction at the park.

“I wanted this park to start, and be way ahead of Roosevelt Park (on St. Thomas), but they’ve done groundbreaking, and we still haven’t done anything yet,” he said. “I let the guy know the urgency. We’ve been waiting too long, and we need to see something tangible.”

The renovations, designed by St. Thomas architect William Karr and funded through the Department of Public Works, are intended to beautify the park, while improving its functionality.

The curbs will be taken out, and the ground will be brought up to one even level. The entire park will be relandscaped, and an underground water and electrical system will be installed.