After 14 years, a new mural has emerged at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
A project of the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs’ Commonwealth Council for Arts and Culture through the National Endowment for the Arts, the mural features the CNMI colors, culture, and sports. It replaced the mural that was created in 2006 when the Commonwealth hosted the Micronesian Games.
DCCA Secretary Robert Hunter said the project came from a grant and proposals for design were solicited from interested groups several months ago. The DCCA, CCAC, and Northern Marianas Sports Association, which maintains the Ada Gymnasium and other facilities at the Oleai Sports Complex, decided on the winning design, which came from Roil Soil.
Roil Soil’s Shayne Villanueva said they are 70% done with the project and are looking to finish it this weekend, including cleaning the front portion of the building.
“We look for ways to improve areas in our community and we’re happy to work with DCCA and the National Endowment for the Arts for this mural. The design is a representation of the CNMI and its culture and since this is a sports facility, we also utilize the sports that are played on island,” Villanueva said.
Hunter said DCCA is pleased with how fast the mural was created and how it gave the facility a welcoming look.
He added that DCCA will continue to work with NMSA in improving the Oleai Sports Complex, which is the proposed main venue for the CNMI hosting of the Pacific Mini Games in 2022.
“We applied for a big grant to redo the sports family and build a building for cultural events on island. That $20-million grant is now under review and we’re hoping for positive results,” Hunter said.
Meanwhile, NMSA welcomed the latest development at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
“We would like to thank DCCA, Commonwealth Council for Arts and Culture, the and National Endowment for the Arts for this project. The Oleai Sports Complex is a landmark on island and its facilities, including the Ada Gym, have hosted numerous sports events and community activities for decades. However, for the past five years, the Oleai Sports Complex has sustained significant damage due to two super typhoons, so improvements in our facilities are definitely needed,” NMSA president Jerry Tan said.
“We look forward to working with DCCA, other government agencies, and the private sector as we strive to provide our community a safer and better facility for sports events and health and wellness activities,” Tan added.