BK International and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport yesterday signed a G$176 million contract for the construction of the Northern Stands at the Athletic Track, Leonora.
Alfred King, Permanent Secretary (PS) within the ministry, said construction should be completed within nine months.
“It has to do with good weather and we believe that the time is right for them to mobilise and commence this activity,” said King.
The project, according to Patrick Pitt, Director of Design and Construction Services Limited (DCSL), explains the components of the project.
“The contract that was signed this morning (yesterday) is for the Northern Stands as the PS said. The Northern Stands will be placed on either side of a main building. The two stands will be similarly built and constructed with reinforced concrete. The capacity should be just about 1500 each and would have a metal roof and the base of it will basically be an open area, which I guess the ministry will further develop in time to come.”
Sport Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, described the construction of the Athletic Track as the flagship of his ministry and said a lot of hard work has been invested in the project for it to be completed in time.
“Our projected date will be something in 2014, sometime to the end of 2014 and that is dependent on us getting enough resources through the budget. We would have put in this this year’s budget for the construction of the other stands. So far the contracts that we would have here to date would be close to $641 million.”
King said the completion of the track should fetch a price tag of $1.4 billion.
“To do the others (stands) and bring it up to our expectations to have about 8,000 to 10,000 people in the facility we would have budgeted for that in this year’s budget allocation. So if we receive that we would be able to proceed with construction of the other stands. While I give a deadline of 2014 it is really dependent on us having the resources,” Minister Anthony said.
He said too that the ministry will be seeking the difference in the budget if the track is to be completed by the projected 2014 deadline.
Dr. Anthony also explained that the ministry is carefully monitoring the contractors who are currently operating at the Leonora location.
“We have been monitoring the contractors who are on the ground, but one particular contractor is behind schedule and we are hoping that they can recover, if they can’t then we will have to put some other measure in place to ensure that the work is completed.”
Some of the contractors, Minister Anthony said, have lagged behind at different intervals but he said he was glad that they have managed to recover.
“So pretty much we are monitoring with great intensity and as we get to the new phase I think the shape and the palace will come alive. Once you start building stands, it starts looking like the facility that people envisage.”
Permanent Secretary King said four contractors are working on the site with the contractor in charge of the perimeter behind schedule.
Apart from BK International, other contractors on site are Eagles Transportation, Howard’s Construction, Ramraj Construction and Pioneer Construction Services.
“There is a road around the facility so the eastern access road is supposed to allow for entry and servicing all the stands and the entire facility.” The contract for the perimeter road was given to JP Mangal but that contract the minister said has since been terminated because only some 10 percent of the work had been completed while 60 percent of the time had elapsed.
“We went out back to tender and sublet it into lots and so with the fence you have three lots, different contractors doing parts of it and that is working well. They have smaller portions now to concentrate on and to get the work done.”
Minister Anthony disclosed that the German Company Regupol should be in Guyana sometime during next week to start laying the track.
“Once the track is completed even while construction is ongoing on the perimeter, it can be utilized and that is something that we would want to start seeking.”
He, however, said that the ministry would have to meet and work out arrangements with the athletics association and other organisations and persons who may be interested in beginning to train there.
Apart from the track, the facility will also boast a football field.