The Roberto Clemente Municipal Sports Complex in Carolina will be rebuilt with help of an obligation of nearly $9.5 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The facility consists of several structures built between 1988 and 2009. These include a playground for children with access and functional needs, the Guillermo Angulo Coliseum and a Sports Hall of Fame, among others.
“This month we celebrated Roberto Clemente’s official day and we’re honored to be able to help rebuild these sports centers that are part of his legacy,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, José Baquero-Tirado.
“The facilities where sports are practiced are part of the fabric of our communities and are key to the recovery of the island,” he said.
The nearly 180,000 residents of Carolina will benefit from a renovated complex that includes the replacement of more than 49,800 square feet of athletic running track surface. Likewise, the power generator at the administrative building that is on the premises will also be replaced.
Meanwhile, more than 6,500 square feet of maple basketball flooring at the Guillermo Angulo Coliseum will be replaced, along with the installation of a digital scoreboard and 5,000 square feet of waterproof membranes on the roof.
In addition, this obligation represents an economic impact for the city, as it is estimated that it will generate about 200 direct and indirect jobs. Also, programs that provide employment to a number of sports enthusiasts such as coaches, teachers and other professionals in these areas will be able to be resume.
“Repairing these facilities will give Carolina the opportunity to improve the quality of life, physical health and emotional strength of the thousands of citizens who annually practice sports or participate in the different recreational-sports programs that take place there,” said the mayor of Carolina, José Carlos Aponte-Dalmau.
Some $203,000 of the obligation is intended for measures to help lessen the effects caused by damage from future disasters. Some of the work include adding a surge protector to protect electrical equipment, replacing acoustical drop ceiling tiles with a water and mold resistant ones, replacing fiberglass poles with aluminum poles and substituting gypsum board with water resistant dry wall, among other measures, FEMA officials said.
“Sports facilities in Puerto Rico have a significant role in the communities, they serve as meeting points, and as recreational, physical and educational development centers. In the recovery process of the Island, these facilities are an important part of the reconstruction. At COR3 we will support the municipality of Carolina in any effort that requires it and we will keep working in coordination with FEMA to continue obligating funds for the reconstruction projects,” said Ottmar Chávez, executive director for the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency, known as COR3.
The Roberto Clemente Municipal Sports Complex includes 10 facilities for the use of athletes and people of all ages.
Born in barrio San Antón in Carolina, Clemente became the first Latin American player to achieve 3,000 hits, and he won 12 consecutive Golden Glove Awards for his excellence on the field and led the 1971 World Series.
In 1973 he became the first Latino inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.