By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
WORK will start “as soon as possible” on the new $21m, 4,500-seat Andre Rodgers Baseball Stadium, which will be erected east of the Government High School in the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works Philip ‘Brave’ Davis, made the announcement yesterday at the site of the new stadium, almost three years after the groundbreaking took place.
Among those at the announcement were Prime Minister Perry Christie, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Dr Daniel Johnson and executives from the local baseball fraternity, including Senator Greg Burrows and Bahamas Baseball Federation president Theodore ‘Teddy’ Sweeting.
Mr Davis said that the original Andre Rodgers National Stadium, built in honour of The Bahamas’ greatest baseball icon in 1966 adjacent to the original Thomas A Robinson Track and Field Stadium, was demolished in 2006 to facilitate construction of the new TAR National Stadium.
A month after the groundbreaking ceremony in November, 2014, the Government agreed to start preparation of the site for the stadium under the supervision of the Ministry of Works and Urban Development, Mr Davis said. The architectural firm Arconcepts Ltd was appointed as the project design team to complete the full construction drawings.
In 2015, Arconcepts provided the full architectural and project management services for the National Baseball Stadium and Dant Clayton, of Louisville, Kentucky, was engaged to provide the design services for and to fabricate the grandstand at a cost of $3,963,000.
This year, tenders were submitted from four businesses to the Ministry of Finance on February 23 to erect the grandstand, the site works and infrastructure, landscape and furnishings, construction of the baseball field, installation of the scoreboard and required equipment as well as the stadium lighting.
Woslee Construction, whose bid was the lowest at $24,956.004, agreed to a project cost reduction of 10 to 15 per cent (about $3.3m) to reach a final figure of $21,351,507 after the evaluations were made by J D Chisholm & Associates with the assistance from the Ministry of Works.
Woslee won the bid over Forbes Construction ($34,077,621); Scorpio/Inline Construction J/V ($29,980,689) and Consolidated Construction Management/Cavalier Construction J/V ($26,017,915).
Additionally, Mr Davis revealed that provisional sums totalling $4m were approved for statutory utility connections, baseball accessories and installations, digital/video scoreboard and installation, supply and construction of synthetic field, stadium lighting, stadium ‘Smart Technology’ design, PA system, AV system and security/surveillance system install.
When completed the new Andre Rodgers Baseball Stadium will have a seating capacity of 4,500, two auxiliary practice fields to the east of the stadium, locker rooms, meeting rooms, physical/therapy/training rooms; vendor spaces, eight luxury boxes, state of the art audio/visual scoreboard, parking and offices for the sport’s partner, the Bahamas Baseball Federation.
Andre Rodgers was the first Bahamian to play in the major leagues.
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