The Kim Collins Athletic Stadium will undergo a face lift that could have it upgraded to a level one track and Field facility fit for major international events.
That disclosure was made by Minister of Sports the Hon. Shawn Richards who reminded that his ministry was allocated $4.95M for upgrading the stadium.
He said, “We are hoping to expand our spectator seating capacity, increase the storage and functional areas and upgrade the athlete warm up and athlete hosting facilities.”
Richards explained the goal of the upgrades are to equip the facility to host international meets beyond the CARIFTA Games. “Currently our warm up and athlete hosting are a hindrance to us hosting many regional and international meets and it is our goal to correct this anomaly,” he said.
Richards noted that the Ministry does not have the benefit of the full money presently, but it will be disbursed over a few years. “At this particular point in time we have engaged the Public Works Department to look at a comprehensive plan for the development of the facility.”
Giving further details of the work to be done the Sports Minister indicated that they are hoping to remove the metal stand that has always been a concern of safety officials.
“We are hopeful to increase seating capacity. We have issues with the metal stand, the fire department and NEMA over the years have said to us there are concerns about the safety of that particular stand. We are hoping that we are able to build a permanent concrete facility. That will not only be able to seat persons but offer office space in there,” Richards said.
He indicated at a recent meeting with the St. Kitts Nevis Amateur Athletic Association (SKNAAA) there had been a request for an office space in the stadium.
Richards also spoke of work to be done at the athlete’s village and on a new warm up track. “We are going to look at the athletes village . We are not satisfied with that area. There are no toilet facilities on that end and normally portable toilets have to be brought in. We want to move away from that and provide something more conducive for the athletes to give them a better environment as they are preparing for the games.”
He continued, “The warm up area is inadequate based on the criteria in place to host international games. It may require the government acquiring some additional land, but all of that would be taken into consideration.”
Vice President of the SKNAAA Evris Huggins noted that St. Kitts and Nevis is fortunate to have two of ‘800 level two’ athletic facilities in the World. “We are one of very few countries that have more than one level two facilities and we are very happy to have that in our country.”
He then explained how the stadiums are rated. “A level two athletic stadium has to be certified by the IAAF. It has some of the minimum requirements that meets the criteria of the IAAF. In any event, that is facilitated here and a world record is broken it can actually be sanctioned and stand as a world record. Any further upgrade will be a level one and that will require an additional 400m warm up track.”
The Facility was built in 2008 and since then has hosted the CARIFTA Games twice in 2008 and 2015.