The dilapidated basketball court in Coral Bay, above, is owned by the Moravian Church Virgin Islands Conference and is leased to developer T-Rex St. John LLC.
Governor John deJongh executed an agreement between the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation and Moravian Church Virgin Islands Conference for repair of the Coral Bay basketball court through funding provided by the Rotary Club of St. John, according to a Government House press release issued last week.
Located next to Guy Benjamin School, the basketball court is Parcel 10, Estate Emmaus, property owned by the Moravian Church Virgin Islands Conference and currently under a 100-year lease to T-Rex St. John, LLC.
Through the government agreement, the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation will undertake the repairs, estimated at about $50,000, upon receipt of the funds from the Rotary Club of St. John.
“This is a win-win situation for the entire community,” deJongh said. “Working with the generous members of Rotary Club of St. John and the community-minded leaders of the Moravian Church, we have developed a partnership to repair a neglected recreational facility for our children.”
“Although the court is on private property, once the repairs are completed, it will be open to the public and remain that way until a new public basketball facility is constructed and operational,” said deJongh. “I want to express my thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this agreement possible.”
The refurbishment of the court will involve resurfacing and repairs to the bleachers, goals and baskets, and will be supervised by the staff of the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation. The public-private partnership, which also involves the Coral Bay Community Council, is similar to the one that spearheaded the successful Pine Peace Basketball Court renovation project completed in October 2013.
“Over the last three or four years, we have been able to refurbish close to 40 recreational facilities across the territory, providing needed after-school and weekend outlets for high energy young people,” said deJongh. “One of the foundations of my administration has been the improvement of life for our children, who are the future of the Virgin Islands. From early learning programs to meaningful recreational outlets and healthy lifestyle choices, I have been committed to making a difference for our boys and girls.”
Rotary Club of St. John is accepting tax deductible donations to the Coral Bay basketball court refurbishment. Checks, with “Coral Bay basketball court” written in the memo line, can be made out to Rotary Club of St. John Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 710, St. John, VI, 00831.
For more information, call Coral Bay Community Council president Sharon Coldren at (340) 776-2099.