New Paterson Park Multipurpose Centre changes landscape of Ward 73

As part of the City of Johannesburg’s strategy to meet this demand for new social infrastructure, the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), the City’s development agent, has completed the construction of the Paterson Park Multipurpose Centre, which will benefit the community of Norwood, Orchards, Orange Grove and adjacent neighbourhoods.

This modern architecturally designed recreational facility will provide a safe space that facilitates the development of fundamental skills like reading and writing, in conjunction with sport, physical activity and health to stimulate growth and development in the community, has changed the landscape of Ward 73 of Johannesburg.

The clustering of social facilities represents a key strategy in providing a basis for growth and densification within the Louis Botha Corridor, which is anchored by the Phase 1C BRT route linking Alexandra to Sandton.

The land available for new social infrastructure within the Louis Botha Corridor, however, is limited and therefore existing clusters have to be optimized for current and future use. The Paterson Park Sports and Recreation facility is equipped with an Olympic-style swimming pool and splash pool with a grandstand for spectators.

A full size soccer field, two smaller five-a-side fields, as well as two tennis courts, a multi court and a basketball court, with a pavilion, offer a wider range of new programmes and activities. In addition, the park offers an enclosed multi-functional sports hall with a fully equipped gym.

From a learning perspective, the Paterson Park Sports and Recreation facility offers learning facilitation through a state-of-the-art library, a craft centre to facilitate artistic expression and growth, and an amphitheatre for community-organised shows, presentations and recitals.

It includes an administrative building, security house and generator to ensure optimal functionality at all times. The creation of adequate, safe and accessible adjacent parking has also been implemented.

JDA CEO Anthony T Ngcezula and the City of Joburg’s MMC for Development Planning, Cllr Lawrence Khoza, recently conducted an oversight tour of the facility.

“The Paterson Park Sports and Recreation facility is the one of the latest completed projects by the JDA, adding the facility to the more than 600 implemented projects across all administrative regions of the City, in its 19 years of operation,” Ngcezula said.

The JDA appointed the contractor, GVK Siya Zama, in May 2019 for the construction of the facility. While the project allowed community residents to have input into the development, it also uplifted the community through job creation for local SMMEs in line with the local job creation principles.

Thirty percent of the construction contract was awarded to SMMEs in the ward, a total of 12 SMMEs and 45 EPWP job opportunities were created during construction.

In alignment to the JDA’s commitment to the continued roll-out of its Public Art Programme, ArtMyJozi is a place-making through art initiative implemented along the transit-oriented development corridors. Through this initiative a series of murals, artworks and urban furniture at the Paterson Park Sports and Recreation facility were installed.

The artworks at the Paterson Park Sports and Recreation facility are inspired by the indigenous bird life in Paterson Park, as well as workshops with the community artists and The Birds of the Grove performance.

There was also an old club house in the Paterson Park upgrade area which was a heritage building. It has been commemorated through a special mural on the side of the recreation centre, which overlooks the site where the building once stood. This mural is inspired by the patterns in the original pressed ceiling tiles.

“Over and above the importance of completing this project is ensuring that it is protected. A sense of ownership from the community for this project will be important so that the facility is used even for future generations,” MMC Khoza said.

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