Permanent Secretary Knight (left) and Director Wiltshire
Permanent Secretary Knight (left) and Director Wiltshire

Department of Sports offices at Warner Park being refurbished

From SKNIS

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The staff of the Department of Sports is now operating temporarily from the V.I.P. suites in the Warner Park Cricket Stadium as refurbishment work continues on its office space at the football stadium and other sections of the premier sporting facility.

Director of Sports Anthony Wiltshire said the staff has continued to function in a commendable fashion in spite of the move that was completed last week.

“Under the circumstances, we are committed to ensure that our programmes are being carried out,” he said, noting that the current focus of the department is on completing the ongoing high school cricket competition this week and then hosting a successful netball and cricket tournament for student athletes from various primary schools. The staff has also been making preparations for the annual Sports Excellence Awards usually held in July.

“We know that the conditions are not ideal, but we have a duty to perform and we are doing it to the best of our ability,” Wiltshire added.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports Stanley Knight said renovations to the facility are necessary because there is a lack of runoff of water in some areas of the roof. Additionally, some of the walls were not sealed properly during construction and water leakage is a problem.

While remedial work is being carried out to correct the issues at Warner Park, plans are also being developed to address similar issues at other facilities around the island with leakage problems, including the Kim Collins Athletic Stadium and the sporting complexes at St. Paul’s and Saddlers.

Knight said the ultimate plan is to prevent any occurrences of this nature in the future.

“We need permanent remediation of all of those issues and then, going forward, we want to ensure that any new structure, any new facility that is being built, is built on acceptable minimum standards,” the permanent secretary stated. These standards will be higher than the codes used during the extensive redevelopment of Warner Park in 2004 and will incorporate international best practices and be robustly enforced.

The work at the offices at the Department of Sports is expected to be completed by the end of June. A proposal to construct new office spaces for the department within the Warner Park complex and build bathroom and storage facilities for the recently renovated tennis area is being considered.