FEMA Obligates $9.5 Million to Repair Roberto Clemente Municipal Sports Complex
SAN JUAN — The Roberto Clemente Municipal Sports Complex in Carolina will be rebuilt with help of an obligation of nearly $9.5 million from FEMA, the agency announced Wednesday.
The facility consists of 10 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.
To date, FEMA has obligated nearly $19 billion for costs related to 2017 hurricanes Irma and Maria. It works with Puerto Rico’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3) through the agency’s Public Assistance program to obligate recovery funds to private nonprofit organizations, municipalities and agencies of the Government of Puerto Rico.
“This month we celebrated Roberto Clemente’s official day and we are honored to be able to help rebuild these sports centers that are part of his legacy. The facilities where sports are practiced are part of the fabric of our communities and are key to the recovery of the Island,” José Baquero Tirado, the federal disaster recovery coordinator for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, said in the news release.
“The nearly 180,000 residents of Carolina, known as the Land of the Giants, will benefit from a renovated complex that includes the replacement of over 49,800 square feet of athletic running track surface. Likewise, the electric generator at the administrative building that is on the premises will also be replaced. Meanwhile, over 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,” FEMA said about the funding’s purpose.
“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,” the agency said.
“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. This important investment manages to enhance the opportunities and skills of not only the thousands of residents who regularly engage in activities that improve their health, but also that of visitors from other towns who enjoy these facilities,” said the mayor of Carolina, José Carlos Aponte Dalmau.
FEMA further detailed that Around $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.
“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 the Executive Director for COR3, Ottmar Chávez.
Born in barrio San Antón in Carolina, Clemente became the first Latin American player to accomplish 3,000 hits, 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, FEMA added in the release.