|Minister pleased with progress of complex master plan|
NG Sports Reporter
Published: Oct 18, 2011
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard is pleased with the progress and work on the various phases, that will complete the master plan designed to totally transform the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre.
During a recent tour, Minister Maynard confirmed that everything is on schedule and the road works that are currently going on, will bring it all together. A number of phases are outlined in the master plan which has red and green zones. Work on the green zone is currently underway, and that includes the construction of roads, parking lots and infrastructure needed to compliment the new state-of-the-art Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
The stadium is in the completed red zone. A handover ceremony, symbolizing that the work by representatives who were sent in by the People’s Republic of China is completed, was performed in June this year. The $30 million facility is a gift to The Bahamas from the People’s Republic of China. It has a seating capacity of 15,000.
The new facility is the centerfold of the master plan for the complex. The multi-million dollar re-development plan will extend over 450 acres of land, commissioned by the government in 2008.
“Three of the major corridors are now under construction,” stated Maynard. “In terms of connections to the main lines, wherever they are coming from, and the upgrade of the water sewerage treatment plant, behind Government High, all of that is a part of the project. We are very pleased with the progress so far. We have had some challenges but we are moving full speed ahead now to get the green zone finished, to get the stadium functional.”
The sports minister revealed that there were some challenges experience in trying to complete the project. One of the most notable ones was the de-mobilization of the Chinese Construction Company, Quil, that was set up around the new stadium. Dorms, the Churchill Tener Knowles Softball Stadium and what was left standing of the Andre Rodgers Baseball Diamond were also around the facility. All of them were torn down, less than a month ago. Moving the access equipments that were left was also a challenge, but now that they are all gone, more work and preparation for the green zone, in the immediate area of the stadium is now taking place.
“We are making room for them to make the necessary arrangements for the trenches,” said Minister Maynard. “We are ahead of schedule, in terms of what was originally presented to us by the consultants. We are comfortable as to where we are, and we are confident that the stadium will be functional next year.”
The facelift to the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre will include the expansion to several other sporting facilities, mainly the Betty Kelly Kenning National Aquatics Centre, the Kendal G.L. Isaacs national Gymnasium and the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association’s National Tennis Centre. A new home is being built for the Bahamas Hot Rod Association, and a new cycling track for the Bahamas Cycling Federation.
No time line was given by the minister for the completion of the entire master plan. However, a major celebration is being planned for the opening of the new Thomas A. Robinson stadium. The old track will remain and will be used for some local and regional events.