National baseball stadium field ‘will be world class’
#By RENALDO DORSETT
#Tribune Sports Reporter
#AS baseball at all levels continues to take centre stage in the country, the timeline for completion of the much maligned Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium faces another possible delay.
#Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture Mario Bowleg said that while the project continues its progression, completion will not be further hastened for a single event.
#Earlier this year, the Confederation of Caribbean Baseball (COCABE) announced that the fourth Caribbean Baseball Cup was set to be the first event hosted at the stadium December 4-11, 2022.
#“The deadline we had was to try and have that stadium completed for December. We know that the physical structure is just about 90-95 percent completed with some minor repairs going on right now. But at the end of the day, we believe that if we hold off until January, based on the field itself which needs to be settled, we would have time needed to compact that field before we put the surface on it,” Bowleg said.
#“We want to make sure that we don’t waste money and that it is prepared and ready to go. There is nothing more important to us than ensuring that that is ready, not an event.
#“We don’t want to be wasting money dealing with a stadium of that magnitude. We want to be able to attract professional baseball teams so that they come down in the spring seasons so we want to make sure that field is world class and it remains world class,” he said.
#Woslee Construction Company was originally contracted to build the stadium at a cost of approximately $25 million.
#Construction began in September 2016 and the original timeline for completion was set at 15 months, concluding in November 2017.
#Ensuing contractual disputes caused work to cease on the project and the edifice remained idle as costs of material, labour and the rise of Value Added Tax increased project expenditure.
#That figure was adjusted to $21.4 million, then increased to $27.5 million after contingency and provisional fees were added.
#In January 2022, Minister of Public Works and Utilities Alfred Sears said in the House of Assembly that an additional $31 million would be needed to complete the national baseball stadium project.