Restorative work at the Arnos Vale Cricket facility is being delayed due to the unavailability of a special paint.
Work, estimated to cost $2.3 million, began in September 2022 on the Double Decker Stand, the Frank Thomas Stand, the Bleachers, the Michael Findlay Pavilion, the Administrative Building and the Media Centre at the Arnos Vale Cricket facility but manager of the National Sports Council, Miles Bascombe said alongside rain last year “there has been an unexpected delay.”
He told SEARCHLIGHT that the special rust protective paint to be used on the steel mainly in the double-decker stand, and the Frank Thomas stand is being sourced “all the way from Slovenia, and it has been delayed”.
The National Sports Council is yet to receive confirmation on the expected time of arrival of the paint.
“There is a lot of steel work, structural steel work, and the sand blasting for example of those metals cannot be done because the contractors would have to leave the steel exposed…and their intention is to sandblast and paint right away,” Bascombe explained.
With respect to expressed feelings by spectators about feeling unsafe in the double-decker stand, and complaints about the wash rooms, Bascombe said coming out of the assessment carried out by the engineers “structurally, the only things that were flagged would have been…the stairs leading from the first level to the second level, just for some additional support. Not that they were dangerous per se, but you know, given that you expect the structure to be there for some time, they thought it best to put some additional support on those stairs”.
Bascombe added that the engineers are also doing assessment specifically with respect to water that usually accumulates in particular locations when it rains.
Speaking about the wash rooms, he pointed out that “the issue with the wash rooms is a larger issue. It is an issue of the sewage system. The system that exists is basically a system of relay tanks using pumps to the treatment plant that is all the way in the back.”
He said “…those pumps have failed, and we still have to do an assessment of the treatment plant because we cannot ascertain whether or not that is functioning because there is a breakdown in the end. So we have to do some evaluation of that system. But we are also planning for alternatives…what can be done… if it’s not feasible to try to rehabilitate.”
It is hoped that regional first-class and international cricket will once again be played at the Arnos Vale venue by 2024.
“We are preparing for the return of international cricket that is effectively …the main driving force behind the works,” Bascombe said.
Despite the absence of regional first-class and international cricket, the Arnos Vale ground has hosted and will be hosting regional games, including the CWI Regional Under-19 Cricket Championships this year.
“The intention is to be ready for international cricket by next year 2024. We would remember that a big part of that is the availability of room stock…and we do anticipate by next year that those rooms should be available.”
According to International Cricket Council accommodation protocols there should be one room per player and one room per official at venues.
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