Airport arches recycled for garden classroom

| 03/01/2020 | 33 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): The cedar wood arches that became iconic symbols of the old Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) terminal building have been recycled and reused in a garden classroom project at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. The A-frames have been repurposed into benches inside the classroom, which will be used as an educational facility for all Cayman Islands students who visit the park. Officials from the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) said they were proud the arches will now provide a new purpose.

The waving gallery was first put in place in 1984 when the airport terminal building was completed. It was an integral part of the facility for many years but international security regulations forced the closure of the gallery.

But since the long-anticipated classroom was in need of resources, the airport bosses offered to donate several of the large pieces of timber from the A-frames.

“It fills me with a sense of pride and nostalgia to know that a piece of Cayman’s history, that was once an iconic feature of ORIA will serve another grand purpose in the community,” said CIAA CEO Albert Anderson. “We are thrilled to be a part of the exciting venture with the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and contributing partners to bring the Children’s Garden and Rotary Schoolhouse project to life for generations to enjoy.”

A small plaque has been fastened to each bench highlighting the donation and origin of the wood.

“Children, just by sitting on the benches, passively learn about our important heritage and the importance of recycling and repurposing valuable resources, which was a common practice in the early years of the Cayman Islands. Nothing was wasted. That, in itself, is an extremely important message that needs to be shared,” said Ian Pairaudeau, the former director of McAlpine, which build the new airport.

The garden project is continuing with support from other commercial entities in the community, which will eventually have an observation tower and discovery pond in addition to the existing grow zone and splash pad.

The park’s general manager, John Lawrus, who got the garden idea back on track in 2018, thanked the CIAA and McAlpine for the donation to the project. He said it would not only help keep Cayman’s heritage alive but would “provide an important environmental message that’s becoming more critical in the world we live in today”.

The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is still actively seeking donations to complete the Children’s Garden project as well as individual donations of $250 for each bench.

Interested donors should contact the park at manager@botanic-park.ky


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Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Aw everybody feeling good like, really???
    https://caymannewsservice.com/2020/01/doe-urges-end-of-illegal-land-clearing/

    Drop in the bucket. Need to do MORE. Government needs to get tough on this and they are ignoring it. But oh!! Let’s make some benches. That’s super great and all, but like throwing us a wee bone..

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s lasted a long time with minimal weather issues and apparently no termite damage. Anyone know if that wood was treated with anything? The reason I ask is that back when this was built (and I remember it well) all the available wood treatments were pretty toxic.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent question that must be answered. Thank you.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Cedar. Naturally resistant, which is why it was chosen.

        • Anonymous says:

          Western Red Cedar is one of the world’s most durable woods, as it has a natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage.

          However I don’t know what kind of wood we are talking about here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Those sleeper beams smelled like they were preserved with creosote tar, which contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Like coal, garbage or Tobacco, I think it’s relatively inert unless burned. Should have been enough wood for benches all over three islands.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Cedar doesn’t need treating it is inherently weather and bug hardy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The park continues to grow each year. This does come with a cost, but at least something happens there unlike the alcohol soaked parties at the Pedro, and constant controversy at pirate’s week. Wont even mention that craft market…that’s a laugh on everyone

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Lame sideshow? Referring to something that will help educate our youth about the environment.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The plants and trees, esp dangerous ones, used to be staked and labeled better when the park first opened. It’s inconsistent now, because it struggles for support from a government with much different priorities than non-profits.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Good job guys. I am so happy to know that the wood was used in that way. I am now looking forward for DEH to mandate recycling and composting!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    A good news story for a change.

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    • Chris Johnson says:

      There must be a lot of wood left over, this could be used around the town particularly Heroes Dquare to enable people to sit down. In the old days we had the Rotary Club benches built at the prison. Wonder where they went. Maybe they got nicked!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Glad some of the wood could be re-purposed! I will miss the waving galley.. Many happy memories of waving hello and goodbye to my grandparents as a kid when they came to visit.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    The botanic gardens is the treasure of grand cayman. Invest in it and not the turtle farm! Areas for kids to play and maybe a jerk stand or fish fry area would do wonders for tourism to it. As locals we go a lot with our kids but never bring them to the turtle farm.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I can assure you the Turtle Farm does piles of birthday parties and events there. Lots of local families go there. So let the comment be accurate.

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      • Anonymous says:

        3:48 as the turtle farm is in major debt every single year it is a bit irreverent that it does, as you say, “piles of birthday parties”. The botanical park is very important for conservation and is a better, more natural attraction for tourists and locals alike. I agree with 1:44 we should invest more in the Botanical gardens.

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      • Anonymous says:

        How was my comment not accurate? You may want to re-read what I wrote. Sit down first so the embarrassment isn’t so heavy.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Dude- here is your quote without any editing:

          “As locals we go a lot with our kids but never bring them to the turtle farm.“

          What kind of local are you? Lots of families go there for events and birthday parties.

          You are relying on a wholly inaccurate claim in order to support your point of not providing financial support for the turtle farm.

          While I agree it can be run more efficiently and I want to see both succeed you are incorrect.

          I can almost assure you more local families take their kids to the farm than the park. So hence my challenge to you to be accurate and fair in your commenting.

          By the way I am sitting. But not embarrassed. Pride comes before a fall.

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          • Anonymous says:

            I said, I am a local who goes to the gardens with my family. You need to re read and next time you do remember you are not in my family so it had nothing to do with you or anyone not in my family.

    • Anon says:

      No Jerk stand. Those are not Caymanian contrary to popular belief.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Okay. As long as it’s not the local endangered species dish I dgaf what is served.

      • Anonymous says:

        Every time there a function the ownwer of the park…or so he thinks! has to have a jerk chicken man selling there. Would like to have
        LOCAL Caymanian food!

  9. Anonymous says:

    That’s great! I can’t wait for them to finally have a children’s play area.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Among the broad catalogue of mysterious, siloed, and immune, CIG-administered departments, it would be interesting to review Quarterly and Annual Report with balance sheet for the Tourism Attraction Board, and how they allocate our public budget funds. At last check, circa 2014, there were some KYD$2.2mln allocated annually to the dept, to manage the five, somewhat lame sideshow non-profits under their remit (Pedro, Pirate’s Festival, Hell, Craft Mkt, and Botanic Park). Good to see Rotary, McAlpine, and private citizens stepping up to fill the gaps…but should those gaps exist at all? How big are they? Why aren’t there regular reports published on all NPOs for all donors to review? At the very minimum, gov-subsidized NPOs should have this reporting, as well as those government departments tasked with managing them!

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    • Anonymous says:

      First you should learn the difference between a Government owned company/Statutory Authority and a Nonprofit. Then you should peruse the CIG Annual Reports and having discovered the TAB’s up to date, unqualified audited financials, perhaps you should visit the Botanic Park and take a little pride in one of our National treasures. Sit on one of these benches and ponder the question of whose idea it was to keep this little bit of our history alive, and silently give them a nod of thanks.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Nice! Thank you! there was enough wood for larger projects. Where did it go?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s great that we’re learning to reuse and repurpose. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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