SPORTS Minister Shamfa Cudjoe has given the assurance that the first two phases of work towards the complete overhaul of the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago will be completed by year-end.
The Minister paid a visit to the Stadium on Tuesday evening, together with Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Secretary of Sport and Youth Affairs Jomo Pitt, officials from both the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) and the Urban Development Corporation (UDECOTT).
Addressing members of the media, Cudjoe said that works are on schedule.
“UDECOTT had anticipated a completion date by the end of December and we are still running on course for completion by the end of December. We had made a commitment to complete the substantial work for Dwight Yorke so that Tobago schools could have their school sports in February. So works are going on-time and so far, I am fairly pleased with what is taking place. We are working alongside UDECOTT – hand in hand with UDECOTT – to ensure that we deliver in time and at a good standard,” she said.
Cudjoe said works on the Stadium were broken into three phases, however, only two have started to date.
“Phase one has five packages, of those five, three have already been completed and two are in progress. Then for phase two, we have 10 packages where the scaffolding package have already been completed and many of the others have started.
“We are looking at phase three possibly after the school sports… or if in time for school sports then yes, we would push for it, but I think based on the current completion dates that we have before us, we’re looking at definitely in this fiscal year. The phase three more looks at aesthetics, we want to move from the previous lighting system to something that is more sophisticated… we want to get LED’s in Tobago because the other stadias in Trinidad, they have good lighting systems and we want to ensure that there is something sustainable and long term for Tobago,” the Minister said.
With regards the cost, the Minister revealed the price has increased from $5 million to $20 million.
“When we first looked at this project, we had allocated $5 million for phase one of the project because we were only looking at refurbishment works to fulfil the OSH requirements. But, around April/May we went back to Cabinet to do a total refurbishment of the Dwight Yorke Stadium for an additional $15 million, so that brings the project to $20 million,” she said.
With regards the track, Cudjoe said a study was done on the track, as the team is now looking at the options as it relates to refurbishing it and looking at the different options that was presented in the study.
Project manager Mc Jasse Salino said that roof restoration is currently ongoing. “We would have removed the old sheeting already and we are now replacing sheeting from bays one to five. Addition to that, we are doing the restoration of the lower steel structure as well throughout the entire cover section. We’re also doing the restoration works to all the booths, the guard booths, the hand rails, we’re doing the painting and that sort of work,” Salino said. Senior Construction Manager Learie Tobias, responding to questions on the maintenance of the facility upon competition, said that a maintenance plan will be put in place.
“… that would give us a better idea on the timing for upgrade of any facility. The maintenance is a five-year to 10-year to 15-year plan and it would be handed over along at the end of this project as well,” Tobias said.