ST. THOMAS — Governor Kenneth Mapp has attempted a new way of funding the multipurpose sports and events facility to be built on the grounds of U.V.I.’s St. Croix campus, which will be accessible to both students and the public.
The estimated cost is $25 million, a price tag that adds strain to an already weighted budget. So instead of waiting for budget hearings where long back-and-forth discussions are sure to dominate, the governor has asked Sinopec, as part of its show of goodwill to a territory that it’s building a long-term relationship with, to foot the bill, and in turn receive the rights to name the facility.
“That’s about a $25 million investment,” the governor said. “And the president of UNIPEC (same as Sinopec) has advised me that they would take it under serious consideration.”
The governor’s remarks came as part of his press conference held at Government House on Tuesday, where he detailed the successes of his China trade mission.
The governor said Sinopec officials told him that in all their locations around the U.S., it was the first time that a government had offered them the opportunity to make such an investment.
Mr. Mapp announced that the facility would be part of his capital projects budget during the U.V.I. commencement ceremony last month on the St. Croix campus.
“I’m having a meeting with some members of the Legislature to discuss, among other things, the capital budget that I’m about to send to the Legislature for funding of capital projects for the people of the Virgin Islands. In that budget it will contain $25 million for the construction of the multipurpose sports complex here on the grounds of the University of the Virgin Islands,” he said.
If the governor is able to secure the funds from Sinopec, however, it would serve as a relief to lawmakers who must decide on approving the governor’s capital projects budget, funded by floating bonds.
Feature Image: Rendering of sports and events complex to be built at U.V.I., St. Croix
Image Credit: Government of the Virgin Islands.
Tags: china, governor kenneth mapp, sinopec, sports and event center, trade mission, us virgin islands, uvi