Push for early finish to stadium!
ST GEORGE’S – Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell has asked Chinese constructors to push to see if that country’s remodelled football and athletic stadium could be finished in early 2015.
The construction project has a completion date by the summer of that year, but Mitchell hopes that the country’s inter-college athletic games will be staged there early in 2015.
The annual games, which unearthed Olympic champion Kirani James, is staged just before Easter each year.
The next edition of the Inter-College Games in 2014 is expected to be staged on the grass tracks at the cricket stadium while the facility is under construction.
“I know the Chinese workers work miracles. So while we talk 15 months, I am looking forward to it being done within a year and I will tell you why,” Mitchell said during a sod-turning ceremony on Tuesday.
“While we await the CARIFTA Games in 2016, I will love to see the secondary school games precede that activity because I believe that will be a shining moment for all the young people throughout the length and breadth of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique.”
The US$20 million refurbishment project is being undertaken by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation.
It will include the building of three main stands with an 8 000-seat capacity, international standard athletic tracks, a professional size football field and cutting-edge media facilities.
“This ceremony comes at a right time when we are celebrating the Christmas season and this is a Christmas gift to all Grenadian people, a gift from the government and people of the PRC to the government and people of Grenada Carriacou and Petit Martinique,” said China’s Ambassador to Grenada, H.E. Mme. Ou Boqian.
“This is a gift for Christmas but not for that only it is a gift for the People of Grenada in your future life”.
Sports Minister Emmalin Pierre said at the official ceremony on Tuesday, which signals the immediate start of construction, that Grenada would be vying to host the 2016 CARIFTA Games.
The CARIFTA Games is the region’s foremost junior meet, and was staged once before in Grenada.
The Grenada government had signed an agreement eight years ago for the refurbishment of the facility following its destruction by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
However, only the cricket stadium next door was built before Mitchell lost the 2008 general elections. (CMC)