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Thursday, September 29, 2022


Ground was officially broken Friday for the new Sports and Fitness Center that will rise in the next year and a half on the foundation of the old Field House on the University of the Virgin Islands St. Thomas campus.
Standing within the steel-beam skeleton of the Field House, which will remain in place as the support for the new superstructure, UVI President Orville Kean called to mind other remains of sports arenas — the Coliseum of Rome, the Arawak ball courts of St. Croix. He said the new $10 million facility will enhance UVI's ability to educate its students.
Gov. Charles Turnbull, whose previous job was teaching history at UVI, reiterated remarks made earlier in the day at the Chamber of Commerce annual meeting. Referring to the territory's financial woes, he said he learned on a recent trip to the nation's capital that federal authorities "know about our economy. They know the rest of the nation is prospering and we are not. They know we have not used our resources as well as we ought to."
The sports facility, which will house a wood-floor playing court and seating for 2,500 spectators, is being undertaken with about $7 million in federal funding. Kean said the university is looking to the V.I. Legislature to provide additional funding for "the building and with regards to the programs that will be housed" in it, the V.I. Independent reported. Sen. Allie-Allison Petrus, representing Senate President Vargrave Richards, pledged the legislature would support UVI.
Kean chairs the territory's half of a working group recently assembled by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the V.I. government to develop plans for social and economic recovery, the Independent said.

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