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Grange promises work on Montego Bay Sports Complex track

Published:Tuesday | November 5, 2019 | 12:35 AM
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange

Sports Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange says refurbishing work on the synthetic track at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in St James is scheduled to begin by the end of the financial year in March next year. The track, which is the only synthetic track in the western end of the island, has deteriorated tremendously over the past few years, and has been taken out of service over fears that continued use could result in athletes suffering serious injures. Grange said that her ministry have been working assiduously to secure all the funds will required to replace the current track. “It is an ongoing process and so the process is in train and so the track there will be replaced,” Grange explained.

“We are working towards it before this financial year (ends) for work to begin, which is the end of March next year,” she said. “If it doesn’t begin before the end of this financial year, then it will begin shortly after because we are going to secure the funds during this fiscal year,” said Grange, noting that the unavailability of the track has hampered the development of the country’s athletes in western Jamaica. “It did affect them because they have to go to other facilities to train and compete, certainly for their meets that are normally held there,” Grange said.

Six-month repair

She pointed out that the track will take about six months to be completed at an estimated cost of just under $200 million. Grange also indicated that the work will also include the upgrading of the drainage facility. Grange underlined that her ministry has been working closely with the St James Municipal Corporation Council to have the facility upgraded as soon as possible. “The first phase is the track, and then I will have discussions with the mayor to see if we can [further] upgrade the facility,” she said.

The Montego Bay Sports Complex, which was developed at a cost of US$14.9 million, was opened in June 2010.

- R.B.