The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has announced that resurfacing of the track at the National Stadium is set to start “any time now” while similar work at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Montego Bay is scheduled for the 2021-2022 financial year.
Minister Grange said she had asked the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) to treat the Catherine Hall Sports Complex as a priority for the next financial year which starts on April 1, 2021.
She said that all the assessment for replacement of the Catherine Hall track had been completed and the level of work required for the resurfacing determined.
The Sport Minister said two factors will determine when the work gets going at the National Stadium; the first is that because the track has to be laid on a completely dried surface, it must await the end of seasonal rains.
The other factor is the ability of the manufacturers’ representatives, BSW of Germany, to leave Germany to come to Jamaica to supervise the project and this will depend on COVID restrictions. BSW is the same company that laid the track in 2010.
Minister Grange said, “The material for the resurfacing of the Stadium track is on site. Upgrading after 10 years of usage is now necessary for the track to retain its Class 1 certification by World Athletics, formerly the International Association of Athletics Federations. The track was laid in 2010 with a projected lifespan of eight years. “But because of maintenance and care we were able to extend it by another two years to 2020.
“The Government is putting a maintenance/replacement programme to ensure that there is money for upgrading stadiums. It is through such a plan for the National Stadium that we have money for a new track. Money was actually put aside for the National Stadium because of proper planning and going forward we will be using that approach for upgrading of the facilities.
“The resurfacing at the National Stadium should be completed within six weeks,” the Sport Minister said.