Stadium to be rebuilt
The National Stadium will have to be rebuilt.
Word of this has come from Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley, who today revealed that the five stands surrounding the island’s main athletic track were damaged beyond repair.
He said papers outlining the project design were now before the Ministry of Finance and plans were underway for a report to be submitted to Cabinet for the construction of a new Stadium.
Lashley said the new Stadium will be rebuilt at Waterford.
However, the minister said one of the biggest issues would be the cost and finding the finances to undertake such a project.
“Right now I believe these stands have been repaired to the full extent that they can be. We have to make a choice if we are to spend the money repairing the stands or spend the money starting to rebuild the National Stadium, and I think we have to spend the money starting to rebuild the National Stadium,” Lashley told reporters shortly after officially opening the National Summer Camps 2015 Track and Field competition this morning at the National Stadium.
“We have to build a new Stadium, but of course that is extremely costly. A paper is now before the Ministry of Finance, which actually outlines the project design and in fact all of the drawings were actually completed a while ago . . . .
“We do have a plan of action to have the new Stadium built. The big issue of course is the cost and finding the cost of doing that,” the minister admitted.
The stands were closed off in March, following the conclusion of the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championships (BSSAC) after being deemed as unsafe.
During that event, as well as the National Primary School Athletic Championships (NAPSAC), it was reported that several pieces of the Stadium’s defective roof fell and struck patrons.
Since then the Waterford track has hosted several meets, including the National Championships, with spectators forced to take in the action from the cycling tracks.
With the 2016 NAPSAC less than six months away, Lashley said temporary seating may have to be brought to the Stadium to facilitate spectators.
“We do recognize that in the interim we have to find a way of hosting particularly the NAPSAC and the BSSAC. We may very well have to bring in some temporary seating here at the National Stadium to host those Games. But it is clear that the way forward is the rebuilding of the National Stadium,” he outlined.
He said there was also the possibility the two events could be held at the University of the West Indies’ Usain Bolt Track.