Guyana’s first International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) Goal Project moved one step closer in becoming a reality as construction firm Dwain Ferdinand and Home Designs and Engineering Associates inked the contract for the initiative’s sub-base work.
The entity, which is based in New Amsterdam, Berbice, won the contract during an extensive tender process, edging out Courtney Benn Constructing Services following an assessment procedure conducted by a three member Evaluation Committee.
Speaking on the technical aspects of the programme, Guyana Football Federation (GFF) 2nd Vice President Rawlston Adams, during the opening address in the Boardroom of the federation said: “This project has been long overdue.”
Adams disclosed that the contract is for preparatory work for the Providence Facility and Miniature Stadium which will be constructed in two phases.
According to Adams, while four companies were invited to be a part of the process, only the two aforementioned entities submitted their bids on June 14th.
The victorious bidder tabled an offer of $128,650,927 while Courtney Benn Contracting Services submitted a bid for $152,781,628 to the Evaluation Committee. This body, which subsequently adjusted the victorious offer to $128,982,471, consisted of Chairman Rabin Chandarpal, Nigel Hinds and Hector Edwards.
Adams said that the contractor will be required to complete several objectives in preparation for the laying of the Astroturf.
He revealed that the contractor has a four-month deadline from the day of the project’s commencement to conclude the work and said that they will be supervised by Consultant Marcel Gaskin and Associates.
The start date for the initiative will be made known shortly following consultations with the contractor. Meanwhile, GFF President Wayne Forde echoed the sentiments of his colleague, stating “I think way overdue is putting it lightly”.
He said that a meticulous and transparent process was conducted to identify the successful contractor adding that the country has been waiting many years for a project of such a nature and that he was confident the GFF will deliver a successful facility.
According to Forde, the GFF has already commenced their infrastructure development process for its member associations who were asked to submit the names of venues for consideration of expansion and improvement.
“The plan is to have one high quality playing facility in each association and not to be left to the mercy of nature during the rainy season,” he said.
Howard McIntosh, FIFA Development Officer said: “It’s a proud moment in football development in Guyana and the Caribbean.”
According to McIntosh, while the process utilized by the GFF executive was time consuming, he was very pleased with the outcome.
“They needed to take their time to ensure transparency and that it can stand up to scrutiny in any way. On our end, we took our time to ensure the process was done in a particular way. Now we move to the action and to get things done,” McIntosh said.
He also revealed that the Goal Project/Programme no longer exists as it has been replaced by the Forward Project which was initiated earlier in the year by current FIFA Chief Gianni Infantino.
This new project gives the respective Member Associations the ability to plan and formulate their projects more efficiently, he declared.
According to McIntosh, the contractor is on a strict time frame and contract for the completion of their aspect.
He pointed out that many of the Caribbean nations are working towards acquiring artificial surfaces as a means of counteracting the poor surfaces prevalent in the region.
Asked about his confidence in the project being implemented without any hindrances, McIntosh said that he is 110 percent confident that project will happen.
Stating that it does not matter if changes occur at the administration level as contracts act as a safety mechanism in such occurrences, McIntosh said that the cost to conduct the site preparation and subsequent turf installation hovers in the region of $250 million dollars.
Meanwhile, Contractor Dwain Ferdinand said that the Berbice company was proud to be selected as the firm to start the project and said that his company was very experienced and fully equipped to tackle the job after working on several projects across the country.
“Our Company is equipped to take the project and have many different equipment which we will be used efficiently to complete the project in the shortest possible time,” he said adding that he hopes FIFA would continue to invest in similar programmes locally towards the development of sport and youth.
The facility, which will be constructed at the Providence Community Centre Ground, will be done in two phases. The first phase will be the installation of an artificial turf and the second phase will see infrastructure such as stands, lights, beach, Futsal training pitches, mini pitches and an administrative centre for the headquarters of the GFF being erected.
Former head of the GFF Normalization Committee Chief Urling had brokered an agreement between the GFF and the Eccles/ Ramsburg Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) for the location and was granted a 30 year lease for the land.
Netherlands-based establishment Greenfields has been officially selected by FIFA to build the Goal Project following the conclusion of the International Tender Process.
Greenfields edged out fellow Netherlands-based entity Edel Grass after the bidding process was narrowed down to two companies.
Founded in 2003, the company has installed more than 2500 pitches across the globe.
They have also received the FIFA Preferred Producer for Football Title as well as similar accolades from the International Hockey Federation and the International Rugby Board.