Sat | Feb 27, 2021

COVID-19 won’t stop Stadium work – Fennell

Published:Tuesday | January 26, 2021 | 12:12 AM
Independence Park Chairman Mike Fennell (second right), General Manager Major Desmon Brown (left), Sports Minister Olivia Grange (second left), Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Vice President Ian Forbes (centre), and JAAA President Garth
Independence Park Chairman Mike Fennell (second right), General Manager Major Desmon Brown (left), Sports Minister Olivia Grange (second left), Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Vice President Ian Forbes (centre), and JAAA President Garth Gayle chat during inspection of the newly laid running track at the National Stadium on Friday.

Independence Park Chairman Mike Fennell says it has received assurances from the Government that despite the country’s economic situation because of COVID-19, renovation of the National Stadium will go ahead as planned.

Fennell said that the work will start later this year into early next year and it will be carried out in three phases.

“Everybody has agreed on the renovation plans and the concept on the renovation has been agreed on by all , so we are now going into the execution phase and there are certain provisions that need to be checked,” he said.

“The drawings and all the details need to be dealt with now and that will take some time. I don’t think we should fool anybody because COVID has disrupted a number of things, but we have been reassured by the Government that this renovation commitment is still intact and will still be going ahead because it is the major facility for sports in Jamaica. It is also not sports because of the history of this Stadium, as it was opened when we became independent in 1962, so it has that significance as well.”

Fennell says once funds are made available to Independence Park, work will begin immediately.

“Each of those phases in the renovation have been clearly defined and how we execute them will be dependent on the finances, because once there is a commitment, the cash has to be available,” he said.

“Let’s not fool ourselves, Jamaica has to revise its own cash usage. The COVID pandemic has caused a situation, but we have been assured a commitment to proceed with the renovation plans. it is going to take some time and it all will not be done in one year, but we have to know that our targets are set and we are going to keep our eyes on the ball.”

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com

Work to be done

• Covering of a section of the bleachers

• Installation of 10,000 additional seats

• Installation of a new cycling track

• Updated drug test centre

• Updated media tribune

• Creation of a sports museum