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|Posted by:||Apr 15th 2005, 10:58:37 am|
|Fig Tree News Team||Andrew's obviously onto something :-) ... here's a related story from the Bahama Journal:
April 15, 2005 – 07:53
Agreement Signed For National Stadium
Months of intense preparations and negotiations between The Bahamian and Chinese governments culminated yesterday with the official signing of an agreement for the design of a $30 million National Sports Complex.
The agreement came several weeks after a 10-member design, engineering and architectural team laid the groundwork for the stadium with the help of a Bahamian technical committee.
Flanked by members of The Bahamas Olympic Association, The Bahamian and Chinese technical teams, Prime Minister Perry Christie reiterated his government's sentiments that the new stadium marks a new chapter in strengthening the relationship between the two countries.
Also present were Attorney General Alfred Sears, Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell and Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Neville Wisdom.
"This will provide a major spark of excitement and motivation to become the wind behind a new generation of Bahamian champions," Mr. Christie said.
"The new stadium will form the heart of a national sporting complex at Oakes Field and its construction will include ancillary works which together will transform the entire complex into a set of facilities second to none in the region in both functionality and appearance."
Unveiling the details of the master plan, Mr. Christie said the multiphase project's first section would include the National Stadium, the Baseball Stadium and the present Thomas A. Robinson stadium, the new softball stadium and the Aquatic Centre.
"All of these facilities will receive attention in keeping with their role and function in the new complex envisioned by the master plan, which will provide for instance, a new diving pool in the existing Aquatic Centre â€“ among other things â€“ a new green space park and adequate parking for each sporting facility," the Prime Minister explained.
Section two of the Master Plan will deal with the Kendal G.L. Isaacs gymnasium, the National Tennis Centre and the Sports Heroes Hall of Fame. Section two also anticipates the construction of a new multi-purpose indoor facility, which would accommodate up to 10,000 spectators at one time.
According to the Prime Minister, the project's third section will include the Cycling Track, the soccer facility and an outdoor upgraded facility for recreational sports, now located at the Baillou Hill Sporting Complex.
Sports like netball and field hockey will also be accommodated.
"One of the things of which I am most proud is that the master plan makes provision for the integration into the Sports Complex of that body of water known as Big Pond," he said.
The government anticipates that the construction of the stadium will proceed with the approval of the technical preliminary design by mid-August 2005.
The detailed drawings are expected to be completed and submitted by the Chinese architectural team by early December 2005 and approved that same month.
"After that, the Chinese government will select an appropriate construction company from China, whose principals will then come to The Bahamas for the formal signing of a construction agreement with the government of The Bahamas," the Prime Minister said.
"We expect that equipment, supplies and Bahamian labour would be mobilized."
The Chinese government has already agreed to use whatever number of Bahamian workers available for the project.
Construction of the stadium is expected to begin no later than February 2006 and completed as early as June 2007 "but no later than January 2008."
The stadium will be designed to seat 15,000, but with a potential to seat up to 30,000.
"This is a worthwhile gift that will benefit the Bahamian people for generations," the Prime Minister said.
"Though it did not come without negotiation and planning, which will be ongoing, its impact will reverberate far beyond the $30 million value of its construction. It will become a lasting monument to the friendship between our peoples and will be key in the continued march of The Bahamas as a renowned and respected power in sports on the world stage."
Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas Li Yuanming said that while everyone would like to see the stadium completed sooner than later, it is a huge project with still much work to be done.
By: Macushla N. Pinder, The Bahama Journal
|Posted by:||Apr 14th 2005, 05:56:18 pm|
|Johnston||From a man who spent many an hour beside the school court, it is a wonderful thing to see men like Andrew, Warren and Anthony getting behind a project like this. Good luck with it. Go Briland!
|Posted by:||Feb 11th 2005, 11:44:51 pm|
|Maddie||I hope there will be some home games during spring break! We used to love coming to the games at the old court and can't wait to see the new one in use.|
|Posted by:||Feb 4th 2005, 02:23:01 pm|
|Kimberly||Go, Panthers ... and congrats to Andrew Johnson, Michele Kelly, Nicholas Johnson, Natasha Shepard, Warren Grant and Anthony Dean for staying the course to see the beautiful basketball and tennis court become a reality!
|Posted by:||Feb 4th 2005, 01:50:06 pm|
The Nassau Guardian Journalism Fellowship
Dump is now a basketball court
By SHELDON LONGLEY, NG Sports Reporter
After five years in the making, the Briland Panthers have a new home, and Head Coach Andrew 'Tiny' Johnson is anticipating great things!
The former Briland dump was successfully transformed into a recreational ground, where many youngsters in the community can now go to play basketball and simply enjoy themselves.
With the help of local government and Bonnie Hudson (sister of Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga), a full length basketball court was constructed on the former dump site.
"The main purpose is to help the young people in the community because they really didn't have anywhere to go. After they gave us the okay, we went ahead and started doing some work on it," said Briland Panthers Head Coach Andrew 'Tiny' Johnson.
According to Johnson, the construction of the court was first mentioned by himself in the year 2000 to the then minister with responsibility for sports, Dion Foulkes. The initiative was taken, and after Hudson came on board as a chief financial backer, it was made a reality.
"She (Hudson) played a huge part in helping us get the park to where it is today. She is one of the persons who donated a lot of funds in helping us to get the park started," said Johnson about the financial assistance they got from Hudson.
The Panthers, who came down to New Providence for the 20th Annual Dr. Keva Bethel Basketball tournament this past weekend, have already played one of their regular season games on the court. They beat the Police Crimestoppers in the Eleuthera Basketball Association four weeks ago by a score of 86-74. Most of the Panthers home games will now be played on the newly constructed court.
Johnson feels like the court will serve to help cut down some of the problems in the community because it will give the youngsters something positive to do with their idle time.
"Our community is having a lot of problems, and this basketball court will eliminate some of that. We are on the move and there are going to be a lot of changes," he said.
Johnson also said that they are looking forward to staging a tournament in May on the newly constructed court, where they hope to have at least four teams from New Providence competing.
"I feel like it is going to be something special because it is very much needed," he said. "Once we get that started and be able to continue it, a lot of the other islands are going to want to do the same thing."
Expected to compete in that tournament along with the host team Briland Panthers are: The two-time New Providence Basketball Association Champions in Division II, The Real Deal Shockers, the currently unbeaten Cable Bahamas Entertainers (8-0 in the NPBA this year) and also the College of The Bahamas Caribs.
The Shockers was the team which eliminated the Panthers from the Dr. Keva Bethel Basketball tournament this past weekend.
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