BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 26, 2015–Belizeans who have been going to the BelCan Bridge park and basketball court to rest, recreate and play basketball can no longer do so. The park and the court have been fenced in and taken over by contractors for the construction of the new Belize City Center. The park was located on the right side of the south approach to BelCan Bridge near the bank of the Haulover Creek.
The new City Center will be built by the Medina Construction Company Ltd/International Environments, Ltd. at a cost of $32,940,261.25.
The contract was signed on October, 8, 2015, between the Government of Belize and the company.
Amandala had tried for four days to get information about the construction from the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), the arm of the Government responsible for construction of Government projects, but we were given the run-around by its officials. The story, however, appeared today in the Guardian newspaper, an official organ of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP).
BIL says that it has secured funds for the construction of a new sporting complex facility, the Belize Civic Center Sports Complex (BCCSC), which will involve approximately 3.4 acres. The facility will include a main sporting building having an area of approximately 39,000 square feet, which includes the following: parking, storage areas, ramps and entrance areas. A main play hall, along with storage areas, administration offices, bathrooms, concession areas, and fixed seating, are planned.
On the upper levels will be additional bathrooms, media facilities, fixed seating, and concession areas. The facility will include recreational areas around the main building, fencing, landscaping and other accommodations.
BIL said that the main facility will be of reinforced concrete with masonry walls to be covered with a steel framed roof system spanning approximately two hundred feet clear. Critical aspects of the works include the air conditioning system, the electrical system, the structural systems and various finishes.
There will be three practice basketball courts and one professional center court, and the arena will have seating for 4,000 people for games and seating capacity for 5,000 people for entertainment events and for events such as conventions.
On Monday when it was noted that the playground and the court had been fenced in, thus denying access, Amandala began to make enquiries, but it seems as if a gag order had been issued. On inquiry, we were told by the manager on the site to call the Public Relations Office, but on doing so, a woman said that they didn’t know what was happening, and directed us to the BIL office in Belmopan.
Amandala went to Belmopan on Wednesday, but was directed to the managing director of BIL, Christy Maestre. She was not in office, and despite a number of attempts to contact her, no response was gotten.