SMMC to get parking and Sports Complex a facelift

CAY HILL—The St. Maarten Medical Center may be able to use land at Raoul Illidge Sport Complex for parking while the new hospital is being constructed.

  Acting Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Ardwell Irion, together with the SMMC, SZV, government representatives, and other stakeholders have been in discussions for the long-overdue upgrade of Raoul Illidge’s  facilities.

  Minister Irion announced in a press release Wednesday that he will be sitting with SMMC, SZV and other stakeholders to finalize the plans in preparation for execution of the project in the coming days.

  The plan is that SMMC will be able to use a parcel of land at Raoul Illidge Sport Complex as parking for SMMC patients, visitors and staff while the new hospital is being constructed. SZV and SMMC will work together with government and other stakeholders to make sure the upgrade of Raoul Illidge’s facilities and accessibility become a reality.

  Other points of discussions, yet to be formalized, include the granting of land to the SZV to build a permanent office. “The idea is that by government granting SZV the land to build, government’s debt to SZV will be re-evaluated and reduced”, said Acting Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Ardwell Irion. In addition, this would significantly reduce operational costs of housing for SZV. The current office location of SZV no longer meets the capacity demands of its clientele. With obstacles such as special needs accessibility, congested waiting rooms and parking, a new SZV office space is necessary for the flow of day-to-day operations.

  “Being active in a sport as a young person has countless benefits, the same goes for simpler form of exercise such as taking long walks. At present, there are more boundaries than incentives to maintain personal fitness, mental health or excel in a sport. These upgrades will benefit everyone in the community, all ages and interests. Most importantly, the upgrades will come with the ease of access and lower costs, thus reducing the current boundaries,” said acting Minister.