Olympic pool now over $600M

- questions persist about decision-making

Originally intended to cost $425 million, Guyana’s Olympic standard pool was built at a cost of $581 million and questions have been raised about the price tag and the structural integrity of the main facility, which is now being retrofitted with a $38.7 million warm-up pool which critics say should have been built from the outset.

When plans for a National Aquatic Centre at Turkeyen, where the pool is situated, were first announced, consultants hired to determine its cost came up with an estimate of around $425 million, although the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport had announced that the centre would be built at a cost of $316 million. However, several missed deadlines, defects, and defect corrections later, the final cost of the centre has shot up to over half a billion dollars.

Government had announced ambitions to build the centre since 2007. The facility, Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Dr Frank Anthony had said, would contain a 25-metre warm-up pool, spectator stands, a pump house, and the 50-metre (Olympic-sized) pool. He said that of a total of 13 contractors who placed bids, Kares Engineering successfully scored the contract to do the work. In addition to the above mentioned facilities, Kares was also required to provide fencing and landscaping.

Work commenced in February 2008, but by March it became evident that there were design issues. Despite efforts to rectify these issues,  …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.

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