Gov’t inks deals for synthetic tracks in NA, Wismar

-Minister Norton concerned about deterioration of Leonora facility

From left to right are Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr George Norton; Rakesh Samaroo (Builders Hardware); Melissa Tucker (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Cohesion); Egan Bazilio (BK Construction Inc.) and Melissa Dow Richardson (Deputy Director of Sport).

The Ministry of Social Cohesion yesterday inked two contracts worth $220 million for phase three of the construction of  Synthetic Tracks in Regions Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice) at the Ministry’s Main Street location.

According to Deputy Director of Sport, Melissa Dow-Richardson, the Region Six contract was awarded to BK Construction Inc to the tune of $141 million while the Region 10 contract has been awarded to  Builders Hardware for $179 million.

The Deputy Director of Sport related that phase three will constitute the groundwork of the project including the laying of the tracks.

Builders Hardware won the contract out of 10 tenders where the Engineer’s estimate tallied $205.7 million compared to BK which was awarded from a pool of 14 tenders with an Engineer’s estimate of $177.5 million.

It had been reported by the Department of Public Information that Region 10’s and Region Six’s tracks were on course for completion in October and December respectively.

Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton explained that “this signing has long been overdue.” The Minister vented his frustration at the deterioration of Guyana’s only Synthetic Track at Leonora, stating that it was not encouraging.

He said that the community will get behind this initiative explaining that they had visited the areas with stakeholders and will follow the project as closely as possible.  Norton deemed community involvement as their new “modus operandi” on projects of this nature.

Norton said  that his administration is adamant about the development of sports and is keen on helping to produce the next Usain Bolt, stating that it is necessary for the provision of adequate facilities in order to uncover these talents.

The Minister cited the ‘gifting’ of a synthetic track to Jamaica by Germany in recognition of Bolt when he set the new 100 metres and 200 metres world records and welcomed similar ideas in Guyana.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Melissa Tucker pointed out that the project is expected to start seven days after the signing and is expected to be completed within six months.

Owner of Builders Hardware, Rakesh Samaroo assured that the project will be completed within the scheduled time frame once the weather plays its part.

Region Six’s synthetic track is being constructed in New Amsterdam’s, Burnham Park while Region 10’s track is being built in Bayroc, Wismar, Linden. Both are expected to be fitted with an eight-lane 400-metre track.

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