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Thursday, September 29, 2022


Anyone who thinks things aren't on the up and up on St. Thomas may not have been out and about much the last couple of days.
On Friday afternoon, movers and shakers of the community assembled to celebrate the groundbreaking for a major new edifice to rise on the island's landscape — the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center. (See following story for details.)
On Saturday afternoon, movers and shakers of the community assembled half a mile to the east to make official the opening of a major new edifice on the St. Thomas landscape that's already in business — Banco Popular's regional Popular Center on Veterans Drive.
Banco Popular had made a point in its recent advertising of inviting one and all to come out for the inauguration festivities, and an overflow crowd did so. So many gathered under and around the yellow-and-white-striped tent set up outside the three-story structure's main atrium entrance that even for building architect William Karr it was standing room only, the V.I. Independent reported.
In remarks at the ceremony, Gov. Charles Turnbull commended the Puerto Rico-based bank for its good citizenship, terming it "an example for all corporate institutions in the Virgin Islands."
Valentino McBean, Banco Popular senior vice president and the guiding force behind the bank's expansion in the territory in recent years, pledged "to take the islands to a greater height" and called on others in the private sector to follow suit.
Banco Popular president Richard Carrion said the imposing 45,000-square-foot building features wind-resistant glass and was designed to survive severe storms and seismic occurrences.

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