By Neto Baptiste
Technicians attached to international track builders, Mondo, are set to arrive on island early next year in hopes of resuming work at the country’s lone track and field facility, YASCO Sports Complex.
This is according to Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, who said the country’s latest agreement with the Italian company will see their certified technicians arrive in January with work commencing after the stipulated quarantine period.
“We have gotten to the point where there are agreed protocols for the arrival of the technicians into Antigua to conclude the work at YASCO, which I am being told should take just and few weeks, and they are scheduled to come in January. I won’t give the exact date as yet because they are still waiting on airline bookings, but after the Christmas season they will be in Antigua,” he said.
Work stopped at the facility in March this year after the country recorded its first case of the deadly coronavirus. Since then, there has been no clear indication as to when the work would resume.
Matthew said all is in place ahead of the arrival of the technicians.
“The civil works are complete and as recently as a week ago or a week and a half ago, the deputy director of sports, Evans ‘Jawakie’ Jones did a site inspection again just to ensure that we are not going to be caught in a situation that once the technicians arrive it’s another waiting game because of something that should have been done. So I have been given all assurances that everything is in place and all that is required is for them to come and to start laying the track,” he said.
The minister revealed also that government has started the process of sourcing adequate seating and other necessities to outfit the facility.
“We are currently looking at getting the seating started, but we got a lot of slowdown, not only because of COVID, but just that the resources that were in place to address those things obviously had to be redirected to ensure that the business of government continues. So yes, pertaining to that aspect of the work, persons should see some movement up at YASCO shortly,” he said.
Matthew stopped short of predicting a completion date for the facility, but said that once work commences, it should be finished within weeks.