The YASCO Sports Complex, the country’s lone track and field facility, could be completed between August and September of this year.
This is according to President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) and one of the engineers on the project, Everton Cornelius, who said that work has been ongoing for some two to three weeks.
Based on the scope of work to be done, Cornelius believes the track could be up and running within four months.
“Based on what we are moving on right now, I think we have about two to three months for the civil works and the other two are for the paving and curing and laying of the track. We are looking at August to September for completion but that would mean everything is just running smooth because once you have interruptions the date is going to change,” he said.
Work is currently being carried out on the field as they make attempts to grade and level the surface. A number of other aspects must be dealt with according to Cornelius, before other facets of the project get started.
“We’re putting together the contractors and the person who is going to do the paving of the track when we finish ripping it up, and that’s where we are right now. We are doing the scope of work, getting the tender document prepared, so we are gathering all of the information we need from Mondo to put out to the people so they can tender properly. In the meantime, we are working on the field and we’ll probably rip the track up ourselves,” the athletics boss said.
Athletes, Cornelius said, will be systematically hampered by the ongoing work, even as they prepare for major games like CAC, NACAC and World Youth Championships.
“They won’t have the use of a long jump pit and they will only have the use of the track up to a particular period but it’s a sacrifice we have to make, it’s just one of those things. We can’t want the track and have everything running as smooth as we’d like it to run so that’s the sacrifice we’d have to make if we want the track to finish,” he said.
The state of the track at YASCO has forced the cancellation of this year’s Coca Cola Inter-schools Track and Field Championships and also the Senior National Championships.