(CMR) The Sister Islands community celebrated a momentous occasion on Friday, 29 September, as Cayman's first Civil Service Learning and Recreational Facility officially opened its doors in Cayman Brac.
The successful grand opening event, organized by the Department of District Administration, was attended by government officials, civil servants, and the general public.
The Welcome Address by Deputy District Commissioner of the Department of District Administration, Chelsea A. Whittaker, set a positive tone for the event.
District Commissioner Mark Tibbetts officially opened the event, emphasizing the significance of the “first-of-its-kind” facility in the Sister Islands.
“Our goal with the Civil Service Learning and Recreational Facility is to ensure no staff is left behind. The facility empowers staff with state-of-the-art resources, fostering autonomy in learning and well-being. Its opening hours, common areas, and fitness equipment promote balance and healthy lifestyles. Repurposing this building is a testament to our commitment, supported by the Ministry and our dedicated team,” he stated.
Deputy Premier and Minister of District Administration, Hon. Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, echoed this sentiment in her special remarks. She commended the efforts that went into making the facility a reality and emphasized its role in supporting civil servants.
“This Civil Service Learning and Recreational Facility represents more than just bricks and mortar, it embodies a profound commitment to our civil servants. It also aligns with the strategic priorities of the Cayman Islands Government, particularly our goal to position our Government as an ‘Employer of choice’. This facility represents a significant milestone in our mission to create a supportive and empowering environment for our staff. It is expected to become a vibrant hub for learning, growth, and community-building in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman,” she said.
The event took an unexpected yet positive turn when the Acting Deputy Governor and Head of the Civil Service, Gloria McField-Nixon, corrected a misconception shared earlier.
She stated, “Let me clarify that this facility is not limited to the Sister Islands, it is the first of its kind for the entire Cayman Islands.”
Her words added a new layer of significance to the event, emphasizing that this facility is a groundbreaking development for the entire nation.
Deputy Governor McField-Nixon also stressed the importance of social engagement and continuous learning.
“I would like to congratulate the Hon. Deputy Premier, the Ministry of District Administration and Lands, and the District Administration team, for building in Cayman Brac, the first of its kind Civil Service Learning and Recreational Centre. This facility provides a unique opportunity to feed minds and to positively shape habits around the way public servants socialize with one another, exercise together, and engage in healthy competition,” the Deputy Governor stated.
“Studies have shown that these conditions are among the key blocks for building societies where citizens are most likely to thrive and enjoy long lives. I encourage all public servants in the Sister Islands to truly realize the vision of this facility by coming together as a community to practice responsible self-care and balanced living. As you do so, know that you are a source of inspiration to others in the Civil Service,“ the Acting Deputy Governor expressed.
In her closing remarks, Minister Julianna O'Connor-Connolly made several significant announcements to further highlight the broader initiative to enhance resources and services for the Sister Islands community. She revealed that the Department of District Administration is expanding.
“We have a future-forward vision of building a Civil Servant Village,” she explained. Additionally, she revealed that the Ministry is in the early stages of conceptualizing a mobile library with a focus on serving the elderly and residents with special education needs.
The Minister concluded by stating, “The Civil Service Learning and Recreational Facility is just one of the many projects socially engineered to launch by the end of December.”
After the conclusion of all speeches, the opening of the facility was commemorated by a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony. Attendees of the event were then given the opportunity to explore the facility on a guided tour led by Facilities Manager Mark Schofield and Senior Network Administrator Delroy Bodden.
The Civil Service Learning and Recreational Facility, spanning 1400 square feet, offers a range of key features and services, including a computer lab, a lounge for social engagement, wellness programs, gym equipment, extended opening hours, server access to the Cayman Islands Government network to enable remote working, CCTV security monitoring, in-house tech support, free Wi-Fi access and most importantly, free access for all Civil and Public Servants.
For more information about District Administration and the Civil Service Learning and Recreational Facility, please visit www.gov.ky/districtadmin