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Lottery officials assess Clive Tannis Playing Field

Lottery officials assess Clive Tannis Playing Field

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The cost to repair the Clive Tannis Playing Field in Bequia has not yet been determined.{{more}}

Murray Bullock, chairman of the National Lotteries Authority (NLA), told SEARCHLIGHT it would be difficult to give a definite figure for the cost of repairs, based on a superficial examination.

“There are several things we have to do in order to be in a position to evaluate the work to be done and to get an estimate,” Bullock said.

Bullock, along with Macgregor Sealey, general manager of the NLA, journeyed to Bequia on Saturday to do an assessment of the facility.

The NLA, as part of its mandate, makes contributions to the development of sport in the country, but in this case, the organization was requested by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves to be the executive agency, to spearhead a public-private partnership to oversee the rehabilitation of the playing field and pavilion.

According to the NLA chairman, the engineer examined the facility and is in agreement that with some minor repairs, the facility will be structurally sound.

However, in the mean time, the facility, as it is now, is a hazard.

Bullock proposed that the field be closed with immediate effect, and that the rusty galvanized sheets be removed, and the frame of the building be sandblasted before the soundness of the steel beams could be assessed.

“And determine where we go from there,” he said.

He acknowledged that the NLA had been given the task to spearhead the restoration of the facility and said that he had been informed that there might be other private or public sector partners who would share the cost.

“But to tell you how much it was going to cost would be ill advised …,” he said.

He explained that the playing field is a prime example of how a good, sound facility could deteriorate without scheduled maintenance.

“And it is very important that when we put up facilities that we put in place strong management committees on those facilities to ensure that they are maintained in a regular and scheduled and organized manner, because a lot of this could have been averted if maintenance practices were adhered to,” he said.

“If you look at the beams, you will see that they are rusted, if they were checked at three or four year intervals and painted, we wouldn’t have been here today,” Bullock continued.

Herman Belmar, Deputy Director of Grenadines Affairs was in agreement that poor maintenance is the reason the facility is in the condition that it is.

He said that in the years immediately following the development of the facility, there was an active sports association, however apart from the football or cricket associations, who do some minor work each year, nothing has been done.

“Major maintenance on the facility has never been done, so the long term corrosive effect from the Windward coast has taken its toll on the building and it is in a serious state of disrepair,” Belmar told SEARCHLIGHT.

“It is to the where it can be considered a very dangerous facility and not a functional sporting facility,” he said.

Belmar spoke of the plumbing problems plaguing the facility, saying that it may be necessary to clean the pipelines and septic tank which run underneath the playing surface.

There is another playing facility at Paget Farm, he said, which could facilitate a number of sporting disciplines, which would be displaced by the closure of the playing field.

That facility can accommodate football, a hard court and a standardized 75 yard cricket pitch and still have enough room for minor games, but it needs some work, Belmar said.

But whatever the outcome, the cost to rehabilitate the Clive Tannis playing field would be exorbitant, he said.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves by way of letter to the NLA on April 3, made good an earlier promise to contribute EC$10,000 towards the rehabilitation project.

Earlier, during the opening of the new health facility at Port Elizabeth on March 18, Gonsalves had thrown out a challenge to Parliamentary Representative for the Northern Grenadines Dr Godwin Friday to also contribute $10,000 to the project. (DD)

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