Recognizing the importance of energizing the San Vicente community by revitalizing its existing community park, the Office of the Governor has successfully secured U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant funding through the Northern Marianas Housing Corp.’s Community Development Block Grant.
The San Vicente Central Park revitalization and enhancement project proposal was first initiated by then-senator Ralph DLG. Torres in February 2011 as a preliminary development.
According to Vicky Benavente, special assistant for Project Development, a revitalized community park is needed to give residents in San Vicente and surrounding neighborhoods a safe and vibrant setting that is easily accessible.
“The San Vicente Central Park will provide recreational, educational, and cultural activities for the children, youth, adults, and the man’amko, with the purpose of enhancing the quality of life for all residents. The cornerstone and highlight of the proposed park project is the reconstruction of the iconic round house, a landmark that has historically been linked to San Vicente,” Benavente said.
Torres expressed that because community involvement is an integral part of building community ownership and a sense of identity, the park project will contribute to positive social interactions and recreational opportunities.
“These park’s features and amenities will directly benefit students and families in and around San Vicente, Dandan, and other adjacent villages. This project aims to address community needs and will provide numerous youth-oriented programs which will be conducted by participating agencies. Phase 1 will cost just over $450,000 funded entirely by the CBDG and I am pleased to see this project moving forward and thank all the agencies and community partners for supporting this development and the welfare of our youth,” Torres said.
Shelane Borja, special assistant for Youth Affairs, affirmed the commitment of the Office of Youth Affairs to the project, stating that the addition of a youth center to the park would help deter juvenile mischief, delinquency, vandalism, and other community concerns.
“A dedicated youth center in San Vicente would undoubtedly serve the needs of students and allow us to implement sustainable programs to promote youth involvement and address educational needs. This will add an extra outlet for the promotion of cultural education as well as indoor and outdoor physical activities,” Borja said
Benavente said the Department of Public Works is currently coordinating with an architectural and engineering consultant on the construction of the park. The scope of work includes site demolition and concrete repair and reinforcement, a parking layout plan, walkways, and landscaping complete with ADA specifications.
The project also proposes new playground equipment, the construction of a youth center, repairs to the existing basketball court, and additional amenities such as picnic tables, barbecue pits, benches, lamp posts, and trash bins with park maintenance provided by the Division of Parks and Recreation, pursuant to Public Law 11-106. (Office of the Governor)