SINGAPORE - Fernvale residents can look forward to a new integrated community facility by the second half of 2020.
Sengkang West MP Lam Pin Min said on Saturday (May 20) that the Fernvale Community Club project - currently in the design stage - is on track.
A tender will be called "very soon", and work will begin shortly, Dr Lam told reporters at a carnival celebrating Sengkang West's 11th anniversary.
Sengkang West started as a ward under Ang Mo Kio GRC in 2006, and was carved out as a single member constituency ahead of the 2011 general election.
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On Saturday, Dr Lam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong-who is MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC - also unveiled the facade of the new Fernvale Community Centre.
The centre will be part of an integrated community facility built on the site of the former Fernvale Point. It will also house a childcare centre, hawker centre and wet market.
The winning design was picked by residents out of three options, and clinched eighty percent of about 5,400 votes cast.
Since the lease for Fernvale Point expired in April 2015, residents in Sengkang West have raised concerns over the lack of a wet market, and asked for hawker centres and childcare centres in the area.
In 2016, Dr Lam, who is Senior Minister of State for Health and Transport, announced that the National Environment Agency had approved a wet market there.
Madam Tan Bee Neo, 57, was relieved to hear the community centre will be ready in the next few years. She used to drop by Fernvale Point frequently to "jalan-jalan".
"I was wondering when the new centre would be ready. I was getting bored," she joked. She is looking forward to the wet market, and meeting her friends for activities at the community club, which is a few bus stops away from her home.
The carnival, which was organised by the Sengkang West Citizens' Consultative Committee and attended by about 3,000 people, saw Dr Lam, PM Lee, and Ang Mo Kio GRC MPs Darryl David, Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar and Dr Koh Poh Koon mingling with residents over snacks and games.
Dr Lam, who has overseen Sengkang West since 2006, took stock of how the estate has changed.
"From a very ulu (remote), quaint little estate, it has transformed into a very vibrant place, especially for young families," he said.
There are now about 64,000 residents in Sengkang West, up from 25,000 a decade ago.
And more new facilities are being built, he said.
For instance, the Sengkang General Hospital will be completed in 2018, and open in phases.
Noting the perennial requests from his residents for more public transport options, Dr Lam said connectivity in the area has seen a significant boost.
Since 2016, two-car trains have been deployed for service on the Sengkang loop of the Sengkang-Punggol LRT, easing the peak hour crunch on a service that has seen heavier demand due to a growing population. There are also two new bus services.
Sales consultant Nadiah Mohamad, 34, who plans to have her first child next year, is looking forward to the integrated facility. They moved to Sengkang two years ago and the upcoming centre is a short walk away.
"My husband and I work so having everything in one place is convenient. We can rush to pick up our kid at the childcare centre there, then grab food nearby at the hawker centre," she said. "People used to say there's nothing in Sengkang. But new things are coming up fast."