By Neto Baptiste
The YASCO Sports Complex could benefit from the pending demolition of the West Indies Oil Company (WIOC) stand at the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG) as plans are to utilise salvaged material from the popular double-decker stand to construct permanent seating at the country’s lone track and field facility.
This was revealed by Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, who said that as part of the second phase of work at YASCO, wood from the WIOC stand will be repurposed for erecting bleachers at YASCO.
“The construction of the bleacher seats in the facility and the timing of that is contingent on the demolition work at the Antigua Recreation Grounds. I know persons may think it is just kicking the can down the road, but we have constraints, and whether the public chooses to accept or not they are just facts. What we will be doing is repurposing a lot of the material, the wood in particular from the double-decker stand by having it sanded, painted or polished to use for the construction of the bleacher seats up at YASCO,” he said.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show on Tuesday, Matthew said also that he is awaiting word regarding a partial structure at the venue that was reportedly intended to be a bathroom. He hinted also that fencing could come in the final phase of work at the facility.
“I am awaiting a report from the Public Works Department on the structural integrity of it and then a determination will be made as to what happens with that building afterwards. The fencing, we deliberately didn’t do anything prior because fencing could be done in a week, but that would probably be the last things that will go up because what you don’t want is to put your fencing while you are still doing work inside there,” he said.
Mondo technicians are nearing completion of the laying of a new surface at YASCO following months of delay due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Matthew expressed gladness with the progress thus far but said a number of other things must happen before the surface is fully ready and certified.
“I am happy but not 100 percent pleased because there is still a lot of work to be done with the YASCO facility. I am happy that this first phase of the work is done and in fact, one of the technicians [is] leaving on Thursday, I believe. The next phase will involve the marking of the track itself and the persons who have laid the track here with the support of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force and Public Works and so on, those persons are not the ones who will do the marking. So a separate crew is coming in to do the marking and they are arriving from St Lucia by the end of next week. Once that is done, a certification process has to go through and another crew will come in to do that certification,” he said.
Work resumed at YASCO in late January into early February with the return of Mondo technicians. The laying of the surface is expected to be completed by the end of the week.