The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through its Public Assistance Program (PA) awarded the V.I. Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation (DSPR) $1,412,908 to renovate Emile Griffith Ballpark and restore all the park’s facilities.
The park, named after professional boxer Emile Griffith, was significantly damaged during the 2017 hurricane season. It was partially refurbished in 2019, but has not functioned in its full capacity since the storms.
“For years, Emile Griffith Park has been the home to hundreds of sports enthusiasts, both participants and spectators. The field, which is primarily used for little league games, has housed numerous other sporting and athletic events,” Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Calvert White.
“It will be exciting to see the park not just restored, but improved, so local and international tournaments can return. We are thankful for this recent obligation and look forward to continuing to work with local and federal stakeholders to move the department’s initiatives forward.”
Identified funds will repair damaged components to include the basketball court, toddler playing area, ball field, concession stand, batting cage, office building, parking lot and bathrooms. Its bleachers, playground surfaces, lighting, scoreboard, PA system, security gates, press box, pitching machine and fencing will all be replaced, in addition to other elements to restore and maintain the community park.
“The Emile Griffith Ballpark is a meeting place for children, athletes and sports enthusiasts,” said Adrienne Williams-Octalien, Office of Disaster Recovery director. “Ensuring that safe spaces like these are rebuilt to withstand future weather events is critical for the well-being of this and future generations.”
DSPR is currently working to develop the solicitation to restore the Emile Griffith Park. Once released, it will be posted on http://www.usviodr.com/doing-business-with-odr/.