Inos park gets national award

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, fourth from left, is joined by, from left, CIP project manager Elizabeth S. Balajadia, PE; GHD Inc. project director Paul Baron, PE; GHD Inc. project engineer Rufin Inos Jr., EIT; GHD Inc. project manager Geoff Melchor; GHD Inc. CQA manager Bryan Fritzler, PE; and CMAA president and CEO Bruce D’Agostino. (Contributed Photo)

The Gov. Eloy S. Inos Peace Park has received national praise and recognition from the Construction Management Association of America.

At the CMAA Project Achievement Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C. yesterday, the park received the award in the environmental category for a construction project value less than $50 million.

The peace park was a $29-million project that was part of the closure of the former Puerto Rico landfill that was a community dump for more than 40 years.

Present to receive the award for the CNMI were Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, CIP project manager Elizabeth S. Balajadia, PE; GHD Inc. project director Paul Baron, PE; GHD Inc. project engineer Rufin Inos Jr., EIT; GHD Inc. project manager Geoff Melchor; GHD Inc. CQA manager Bryan Fritzler, PE; and Christine Inos, representing the family of the late governor Inos.

Torres said that the park means a lot to him personally and believes that the park represents Inos’ vision of solving longstanding problems for the benefit of the entire community.

“I remembered the day two years ago when Gov. Inos and I broke ground for the construction together. He envisioned a great future for this park and for our community because the park is just one part of the overall vision we shared for our islands. The park is a testament to successful engineering and renews our commitment to eliminating pollution and preserving our environment. It is a place, where everyone—residents and tourists—can come to exercise and relax. I commend our [Capital Improvement Projects] office, [Office of Insular Affairs], [project contractor] GHD, Black Micro, and everyone for coming together for this. Never would I have thought that our park would receive national awards this early. Gov. Inos would have been proud of what we accomplished together as a community,” Torres said.

CIP administrator Virginia Villagomez noted that the project represents what can be achieved when federal and territorial governments work collaboratively to solve a longstanding community problem.

“Converting the former landfill to a park was not easy. The process was tedious, but very rewarding. It took team effort to get to this point. Receiving this national award is one thing, but it takes all of us in the community to take care of it for future generations. Gov. Inos would have wanted it that way,” Villagomez said.

This is the second national recognition for the Gov. Eloy S. Inos Peace Park. In August, the American Society of Civil Engineers recognized the park in its recent publication.

The CMAA banquet recognized state and territorial construction projects from around the country and throughout the industry. The award categories were in the fields of commercial, sports, entertainment, education, environmental, and government, among others.

The CMAA is a non-profit and non-governmental, professional association serving the construction management industry. Current membership is more than 14,000 from around the country, including individual practitioners, corporate members, and construction owners in both public and private sectors, along with academic and associate members. (PR)

 

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